Lethbridge woman returns home months after brutal attack

By Patrick Burles - @PatrickBurles on Twitter
February 1, 2017 - 6:57pm

LETHBRIDGE - A 25-year old woman is back in her Lethbridge home, four months after a vicious attack left her clinging to life.

The announcement that she had been discharged from Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary came Tuesday (Jan.31) on a Facebook page established by her family, which has been providing steady updates on her condition throughout the recovery process.

After learning of the development, Lethbridge News Now reached out to the family, and were able to speak to her father-in-law. He noted that throughout the entire process, she has continued to impress everyone with her level of strength and determination.

"She's been amazing," he said, with his voice hinting at a smile over the phone. "She's just been positive and happy and cheerful, and constantly making positive comments. Her tenacity before the incident has always been something that stuck out in our minds, she's an extremely tenacious girl, and it's showing on this side of the recovery process as well."

While she's now back at home and able to sleep in her own bed, he did acknowledge that the recovery process is far from over.

"She's still got a long recovery ahead of her. She's not walking fluently, fully yet, and her memories -- long term and short term -- need some work, and processing and balance, and there's quite a long ways to go yet," he explained, adding that she will meet with her local doctor this weekend to put together a treatment plan.

"In the meantime, we're hoping to have a week or so off, so [her and her husband] can at least get a break from all this hospital work, and just kind of live a normal life for a little bit, before they get back at it."

While the strength of his daughter-in-law continues to stand out, he noted that being part of this ordeal has also shown him a great deal about the community they call home.

"People, the support from people has been outstanding. There's been so many people in the city of Lethbridge that have stood up, and outside of Lethbridge... Businessmen and personal individuals have stepped up to the plate and have done some incredible things to support her and the family, and have asked us to not give them any recognition, and it's almost been difficult to not give them that recognition, but it just shows the quality of people in the city of Lethbridge."

The 25-year old was walking to work on the morning of September 30, 2016, when she was struck with a weapon, dragged into the alley off 6 Avenue South and sexually assaulted. She sustained life-threatening injuries in the attack, which Lethbridge Police believe was random.

Denzel Dre Colton Bird -- the 20-year old man charged in connection with the crime -- is set to return to Lethbridge Provincial Court on Feb. 14.

He faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, and break and enter.

UPDATE: Missing man found

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