Josie Ratley, the 15-Year-Old Girl Nearly Beaten to Death, Reportedly Wakes from Her Coma
UPDATE: We've finally got good news in the case. Josie Ratley has been released from the hospital, though she's still in bad shape See update after the jump...
Josie Ratley, the 15-year-old girl nearly beaten to death at her middle school bus stop last month, has reportedly risen from her coma. The news comes from CBS-4 in South Florida.
15-year-old Wayne Treacy brutally attacked Josie from behind, beating and kicking her in the head with steel-toed boots
The station says someone claiming to be Josie's aunt posted the news on a Facebook page devoted to her recovery. (You can find the sites here and here.)
After nearly a month in a medically-induced coma -- in which doctors had to cut away part of her skull to relieve brain swelling -- she's been able to sit up for the first time and she recognized her relatives. But she still can't speak or eat, and she doesn't realize what happened to her. She also suffers from wicked headaches.
UPDATE: It's official: Josie's come out of her coma, but she still has significant brain damage.
She's shown signs of recognizing her mother and nurses, but doctors are still worried about her future ability to walk and talk.
Dr. David Lasko says she only has limited use of her right arm, hands and fingers. But he admits he has no idea how much Josie will improve from here on out.
15-year-old Wayne Treacy attacked Josie from behind, kicking and pounding her head into the sidewalk
"In neurological injuries, it's very difficult to tell where the endpoint will be," he told the Sun Sentinel. "The fact that she has made such a steady progress, especially in the last couple of weeks, gives us a lot of hope to where she can go to. Her potential for recovery is unlimited at this point, but we still don't know where the endpoint will be."
Next on her road to becoming whole will be major surgery to repair a portion of her skull.
Meanwhile, Wayne Treacy's lawyer expect his client to be charged as an adult.
UPDATE II: Josie undergoes major surgery to reattach a portion of her skull.
The portion had to be removed to relieve swelling on her brain, but doctors are seeing signs of a slow recovery. Earlier in the day, she shook her head "no" for the first time, meaning she's beginning to regain some cognitive abilities.
But she still can't speak, nor can she use her right hand. She must be moved around in a wheelchair and can't swallow much. She also cries a lot of doesn't seem to know what happened to her. The lack of movement on her right side is caused by brain damage she incurred during the beating.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Wayne Treacy will be charged as an adult with attempted premeditated murder. His lawyer readily admits to what happened, but appears to be looking to mental issues as the basis for his defense.
And for what it's worth, the Florida press has been saying lately that Josie only made mention of Treacy's brother's suicide. It's stopped implying that she said anything untoward about the death. Then again, we may just be reading too much into the semantics here.
UPDATE III: Wayne Treacy may have written a will before brutally beating Josie.
Deputies carried out a search this morning on the trailer home where Treacy lived with his mother and grandmother. They confiscated a computer and found what's been described as a "letter/will" in police records.
There's no details on what the will contains, or even if it was written by Treacy. But that seems to be the implication.
Meanwhile, Treacy's lawyer is objecting to the search, saying prosecutors already have ample evidence of premeditation, since Treacy rode his bike three miles to Josie's school before nearly beating her to death. He also sent text messages to his friends threatening the little girl.
Lawyer Russell Williams also claims the computer contains privileged information, since he's communicated via email with Treacy's mother over the boy's legal defense. We're guessing he'll have little ground to stand on with his objections, however, since police have the right to strengthen their premeditation case as much as they please.
UPDATE IV: Josie has been released from the hospital.
Josie still can't walk or talk, but if you compare this photo to earlier ones, she looks a whole lot better
Forty days after she was nearly beaten to death at school, Josie Ratley has been released from the hospital. It took her three surgeries to arrive at this point, but hopefully she's on her way to mending.
She's being transferred to a rehab facility, though there's no time frame on how long she'll be there. She still has a long way to go. Doctors say she still can't walk, talk or use her right arm or hand. But if you look at today's photo compared to previous ones, the swelling has dramatically reduced and she'd beginning to look like her old self again.
See our original story: Wayne Treacy, 15, Brutally Beats Girl at Middle School Bus Stop.