herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Brave Simone's a 'fighter' but her injuries are 'unimaginable'

Simone Lee
Simone Lee
Crime Scene Investigators pictured arriving at Hassetts Villas, Thomondgate in Limerick where Simone Lee was attacked. Photo: Frank McGrath

Doctors treating a woman who was stabbed, scalded and beaten in her flat are still discovering injuries on her body days later.

Simone Lee (37) was at Hassett's Villas in Thomondgate in Limerick city when she was attacked late on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday.

Her family have said they're prioritising her recovery from her horrific ordeal and that she is a "fighter".

She is still in an induced coma in University Hospital Limerick as her shocked family hold a bedside vigil.

The medical team in the intensive care unit are giving her round-the-clock care and hope to transfer her to Cork University Hospital or a Dublin hospital in the coming days.

"Simone is still critically ill, she has a long, hard road ahead and we will be here for her," said Simone's sister Una from Limerick Hospital.

A man who was arrested by gardai in relation to the attack was released without charge on Monday and a file on the matter is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Simone's family has told of the extent of her injuries.

"They are unimaginable," said Una.

"She has burns to her face, and burns to her upper body and shoulders. Her ears are burned and her lips are swollen too, but as far as we are aware she didn't ingest what scalded her, which is good.

Stabbing

"Simone also has a number of injuries to her back and has a punctured lung as a result, and for that reason she is on a machine to help her breathe."

It is believed the wounds to Simone's back were as a result of stabbing.

"There are also different knocks to her head and face and she has stitches in many areas, including heavy suturing around her eyes and her eyebrows," said Una.

"The doctors and nurses are doing incredible work and they are in constant touch with their colleagues in Cork and Dublin.

"But there are injuries still surfacing on Simone that we did not know about previously. She still has to undergo some scans and X-rays, but there is bruising surfacing on her shoulders now that was not there initially.

"Day by day we are seeing more injuries, but Simone not surviving is not an option for us. We are concentrating on getting her better. That is our priority as a family.

"Simone is an amazing girl and an incredible fighter, but she has a massive long road ahead," she added.

Asked about the investigation into the attack, Una said the family's priority is Simone.

Support

"We have full faith in the gardai and they are keeping us informed. They are in full support of our family," said Una.

The attack on Simone caused widespread shock in Limerick.

The scene at Hassett's ­Villas remained sealed off until ­Monday while a garda ­technical bureau team from Dublin ­carried out forensic tests and gathered evidence.

A window on the top-floor apartment was smashed during the attack and broken glass littered the street below.

Gardai are investigating if hot water was used to burn Simone during the attack. They have been unable to speak to her yet.

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