Woman left in coma by brutal attack now fighting pneumonia
The innocent woman who was stabbed, scalded and beaten in her home has now developed pneumonia and doctors have discovered her pelvis is broken.
Doctors also fear that Simone Lee (37) may have suffered a spinal injury when she was attacked in her Limerick city flat at Hassett's Villas in Thomondgate last weekend.
Simone was transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin from University Hospital Limerick last Thursday and, while there were hopes of reducing the level of sedatives she is on and slowly bring her out of an induced coma, doctors have now decided to wait longer before waking her.
"Simone remains very ill and we are very concerned for her. She now has pneumonia and is being treated for that as well as her injuries," her sister Una told the Herald.
It is believed the wounds to Simone's back were as a result of stabbing, which also caused a punctured lung.
Una said Simone remains on a machine to assist her breathing.
"The doctors have told us that she has a broken pelvis also, and they are concerned that she may have suffered a spinal injury too," she said.
"They just have to wait and see. They will be able to find out more when they take her off the sedation, whenever that will be."
Gardai suspect that hot water was poured on or thrown at Simone during the attack. Medics are continuing to assess the damage caused to her face and chest.
"But they do say they are hopeful that Simone's burns will heal with time without the need for plastic surgery, so that is one positive," Una said.
"However, we are still trying to come to terms with the level of injuries Simone received and the level of violence used to cause them."
A man who was arrested by gardai in relation to the attack - which took place late on Saturday, November 26, or early the following day - was released without charge last Monday and a file on the matter is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The attack on Simone caused widespread shock in Limerick city.
"Simone is an amazing girl and an incredible fighter, but she has a massively long road ahead," Una said.
Asked about the garda investigation into the savage attack, Una said the family's priority is Simone.
"We have full faith in the gardai, they are keeping us informed and they are in full support of our family," she said.
The scene at Hassett's Villas remained sealed off until last Monday while a garda technical bureau team from Dublin carried out forensic tests and gathered evidence.