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Natasha McShane AP/Press Association Images
Chicago

Natasha McShane making "remarkable" progress five years after vicious attack

Her attacker was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

IN 2010, NORTHERN Irish student Natasha McShane and her friend Stacy Jurich were walking home at 3am in Chicago’s Bucktown area when they were viciously attacked by Heriberto Viramontes.

Viramontes used a baseball bat to attack the two women, leaving them both with brain injuries.

Natasha McShane, who is from Armagh, was the most seriously injured of the pair and her mother described it as “a [parent's] worst nightmare and one that will never go away”.

A year ago, Viramontes was sentenced to 90 years in prison for the attack.

In recovery

Now Stacy Jurich has spoken to ABC about her recovery, and said that she wants McShane to be her maid of honour at her upcoming wedding.

In the interview, which can be watched in full here, Jurich said she will be getting married in Ireland.

I chose it because Natasha is there.
I would like her to be my maid of honour. The fact that she can stand up means the world to me. The fact she can stand up next to me on my wedding day, I can’t even put into words.
I love her so much.

stacy jurich Stacy Jurich ABC ABC

“I definitely know that her and I have a relationship that no one will ever really understand,” she continued. “It’s a relationship that she knows that I know what happened and I was there with her that night.”

She is making so much progress.
The strides that she has made is just remarkable.
Where she was one year ago compared to where she was yesterday, I just feel like we’ve all been very blessed because she is a fighter.

She said that their relationship is “therapy” for Natasha McShane’s mother.

Of the horrific incident, Jurich said:

It’s really been something I’ve tried to just put in my past, just because of the fact we’ve gone through the trial, we’ve gone through the sentencing and wanting to just have a fresh life, a new life. At the same time it’s something that’s always lingering there. It’s something I hold near an dear to my heart.

Jurich had severe brain injuries and has overcome a huge amount of related health problems.

She is “making progress” and now works as a client services associate for a large financial firm.

She said she still carries some guilt about what happened that night in Bucktown, but described how testifying during her attacker’s trial was something she could do for her friend.

Jurich told ABC that she hopes she is setting a strong example for other people who have gone through horrific events.

Read: Man sentenced to 90 years in prison over attack on Natasha McShane>

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