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VICTIMS FAMILY LOOKS FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT

Article by: Canadian Resource Center for Victims of Crime
– In July 2005, a woman was viciously attacked and sexually assaulted in Banff, Alberta. Julie was beaten, strangled, and left for dead at a riverbank. She survived the attack, but lives in a minimally conscious state, breathing on her own and reacting to stimuli, but unable to eat or communicate. Prior to the attack Julie had been attending college in Ottawa.

Julie?s father Ron says that Julie?s personality is trapped inside her injured body. ?She has varying levels of comprehension and she cannot express her thoughts and feelings. It is truly heartbreaking for family and friends to see her in this state.?

The family is appealing to the community, seeking financial support for treatment that could help Julie in her brain-damaged state.

Says Ron: ?After a severe brain injury, areas of surviving neurons exist in a non-functional state due to ongoing oxygen deprivation.?

The suggested treatment, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, is available at a specialized private treatment center in Florida. It has been shown to recover neurons for some brain-damaged patients. The family is seeking financial support for the treatment, which will cost from $200,000-300,000, including travel, nursing fees, etc. The therapy is expected to take from three to six months to complete. Financial contributions are being accepted at any TD Canada Trust branch throughout Canada, made payable to: ?Julie?s Recovery – Account # 5213856_3282?.

The family is thankful for what Julie?s mother Valerie calls: ?the many individual acts of kindness and prayers that have helped our family throughout this difficult time.?

The family is also considering a request to lift the publication ban which protects Julie?s identity, believing that showing her face will add a more personal touch to their plea.