THE TEENAGE girl at the centre of the brutal machete attack in a house in Co Fermanagh is recovering in hospital but will need to learn how to walk again, her sister has said.
13-year-old Geraldine was hailed as a hero when she protected her 11-month-old nephew after a group of men broke into the family home armed with machetes, but was left with a six-inch-deep gash which has caused serious complications.
Speaking to The Sun, Geraldine's sister Pauline, mother of baby John, told of how air was leaking from the deep wound on Geraldine's back as she tried to breathe.
“Her lung collapsed right away," Pauline told the paper.
"The way she has been cut means she can’t walk now and has to learn to walk again.
“She’ll be in hospital for weeks. Her back won’t be the same for about 12 months."
The family believe the horrific home invasion, which is being treated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland as attempted murder, was a targeted attack on one of the men in the family who was not home at the time.
But the family have said they do not want a revenge attack to take place and have urged the men who attacked them to hand themselves into police.
“We want no retaliation. We want justice, the best retaliation will be in the court when I’m smiling as they go to jail," Grandmother Lizzy told The Sun.
“And I have my boys told that. That will be the best retaliation.”
Gardaí are working together with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to track down the men suspected of carrying out the attack, and are reportedly in possession of the video taken by the thugs on a mobile phone as they attacked Lizzy, 13-year-old Geraldine and baby John.
The PSNI have encouraged anyone with information to come forward by contacting detectives in Enniskillen or calling 101 with reference number 1650 16/11/19.
Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.