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A year on, a hard road for Natasha McShane

It's been a year since the savage attack on a Chicago street in which Irish exchange student Natasha McShane almost lost her life.

And the once vibrant exchange student has, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times, little progress to show despite all the rehabilitation efforts that began in Chicago and continued in Northern Ireland after she was flown home.

This weekend will mark the darkest of anniversaries for McShane, who is from County Armagh. She and a friend were attacked by a baseball bat-wielding mugger on the night of April 23 in the Bucktown area of the city.

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McShane's fellow student and attack victim, Stacy Jurich, made a far speedier and more thorough recovery. McShane, according to the Sun Times, "can say only one word with regularity, and even her father isn't sure what she means."

According to the report, Natasha is incapable of doing tasks even a small child can manage.

Her father Liam McShane, in a phone interview, told the paper that his daughter had struggled with infection and seizures.

And he indicated that if the decision could me made again it would be different in that the family would have left Natasha in Chicago for continued treatment.

He said the family would always be grateful for everything the people of Chicago did to help Natasha and that the McShane's bore no ill feeling towards the city where their daughter's life had taken such a tragic turn. The two people involved in the attack on his daughter and her friend were, however, "the lowest of the low."

Heriberto Viramontes, 32, and Marcy Cruz, 26, are being held in Cook County Jail awaiting trial for the attacks.