ALISHA Jordan (21) was hit in the face with a concrete block in a random attack by a man on the street last July.
The Irish woman's skull was broken and she suffered a broken nose, a broken cheekbone, and several broken teeth in the unprovoked late night attack.
The young victim has needed a series of operations to repair severe facial injuries and had to have a metal plate inserted into the front of her skull.
Alisha, a native of Skryne, Co Meath, was a star footballer for the Meath county team.
She had been working in a bar in New York for several months and playing for New York's Cavan football team.
Her mother Eilish told the Herald: "Alisha is back working in the bar in New York and sadly was not in a position to come home for Christmas. She is due to have an operation on her nose during January."
Hopes were high that much of the medical costs of her hospital treatments following the attack would be met by the US public health system.
Mrs Jordan said: "Unfortunately, we've now discovered she does not qualify for Medicaid. She was only covered for one night in the hospital on the night of the attack."
Medical bills to treat Alisha's injuries are now in the region of $25,000 (¤18,000).
However, a kind-hearted dentist provided Alisha with four crowns to cover her broken front teeth, free of charge.
Cara Devine, a friend of Alisha's in New York, explained that Alisha was walking home with her pal when approached by "a tall, black guy" who asked if a taxi was nearby for her.
"She said 'no' and then as she walked on he just grabbed a cinder block and swung it straight into her face.
"She was incredibly lucky in one way because if the block hit her an inch to the left or right she'd have suffered severe brain damage.
"Then he ran after her friend and tried to attack her as well.
"Alisha didn't realise how badly she was injured and when she heard her friend screaming she tried to get back to her feet to help her."
Mrs Jordan told the Herald she was informed that a man had been arrested by police in New York following the attack, but DNA testing was not yet complete. The man was held in custody for questioning about a different crime.