Attacker beat MS sufferer so savagely she spent three weeks in a coma and was unrecognisable to relatives

Attacker beat MS sufferer so savagely she spent three weeks in a coma and was unrecognisable to relativesHeather McQueen, 53, was left with such severe injuries her own family did not recognise herThe 53-year-old multiple sclerosis sufferer was set upon in her own home
Durham police are still hunting the attacker which left her in a coma

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 29 November 2012


Battered: Heather McQueen was beaten so severely her own sister did not recognise her

Battered: Heather McQueen was beaten so severely her own sister did not recognise her

A disabled woman attacked in her own home was left with such severe injuries her own family did not recognise her.

Heather McQueen, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was set upon by an unknown attacker at her house in Stanley, County Durham, leaving her in a coma.

The 53-year-old was left unconcious for three weeks after the May attack and will need specialist care for the rest of her life.

Ms McQueen suffered two broken bones in her neck, a broken collarbone and had severe bruising across her face and upper body.

Her sister Lynn Bell, 48, said that she walked past Heather’s bed at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle because she did not recognise her.

Lynn, who lives in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, said: ‘The injuries were absolutely horrific, it was really shocking.

‘I went past her at first because I could not tell it was my sister, she was that badly hurt.

‘To do this to a disabled defenceless, vulnerable woman is disgusting.

‘We want justice for Heather.’

When she awoke from her coma, Ms McQueen spent a further three weeks in the high dependency unit before she was transferred to Bishop Auckland General Hospital.

During her treatment she required a tracheotomy after contracting pneumonia and is now staying at a rehabilitation centre at Walkergate Hospital in Newcastle.

Ms McQueen is unable to walk unaided or use her arms and legs properly as a result of the brain damage cause in the attack, and will need specialist care for the rest of her life.

Ms McQueen had suffered strokes before the attack but was able to live independently.

Appeal: Her sister Lynn (right) and mother Jane want the attacker who left Heather with permanent damage to her brain to be caught

Appeal: Her sister Lynn (right) and mother June want the attacker, who left Heather with permanent damage to her brain, to be caught

Her mother, June Allaker, 77, said: ‘They told us she might not pull through at all, she could have died.

‘She was an absolute mess, black and blue all over and you could see the marks from someone’s shoes where they had kicked her.’

Ms McQueen, had lived with her daughter Claire, 32 at the time of the attack, which occurred at 11pm on May 22.

However Claire is unable to tell police exactly what happened and no-one has been charged.

Police and her family have urged anyone with information to come forward.