DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - With a beaming smile, Josie Lou Ratley walked hand in hand with her mom at a fundraiser in her honor Sunday in Deerfield Beach.
"She wants to thank you too, but of course she can't say it very well, so I’ll do it for her and give you hugs and kisses on her behalf," said her mother Hilda Gotay Ratley.
A true survivor, Ratley came home last month after weeks in intensive care following a beating.
"She is doing wonderfully and she still has a long way to go, she is still in therapy and the prays are helping a lot," said Gotay Ratley.
Her struggle inspired hundreds of people to grab their bikes and stand in line for a fundraiser at the Cove Restaurant to help raise money for Josie.
"I work at a trauma center, so I’m familiar with how devastating this is to the family so if I can give my support, I’m more than willing," said Jacquiline Munoz, a trauma nurse from Boynton Beach.
The 15-year old suffered brain damage when she was brutally beaten at a bus stop in March.
Wayne Tracey is now charged with attempted first degree murder.
According to police, he stomped on Josie with steel toe boots over a text messaging dispute.
The past three months have been difficult for Josie's mother Hilda, who realizes her daughter will never be the same.
"She will have to start over, learning her ABC's," said Gotay Ratley trying to hold back the tears.
More than $20,000 were raised at the fundraiser; all that money will go towards Josie's growing medical bills.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest News Stories
A man is being flown to Delray Medical Center after being shot multiple times in Belle Glade Tuesday evening, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.