Beaten Deerfield teen's condition worsens - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Beaten Deerfield teen's condition worsens

By Tara Cardoso - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Josie Lou Ratley's family has learned she has brain damage that will affect her body and her speech. Now, they're struggling to keep her healthy enough to fight off infection.

But they are furious as to why something like this was allowed to happen on school grounds.

"By all accounts, the left brain activity is damaged, which means, the right side of her body is going to have significant problems," said the Ratley's family lawyer, Rick Freedman.

The 15-year-old girl was beaten at school, police say, by an older boy in steel-toed boots. Josie has been in a medically induced coma ever since.

Her mother and aunt stay by her side. "They're now coming to the understanding and realization that her unconditional recovery will be a marathon event."

The family is too upset to speak right now, but, their attorney says, they hoped Josie would have opened her eyes by now and would, at least, respond to them talking to her and holding her hand.

Her condition, however, is actually getting worse. "They now recognized that she has pneumonia; her lungs are just filled up and clogged with things that you don't want your lungs filled up with. She's had infections, so each time, it's been, unfortunately, one step forward and two steps back, and it continues to be a day-to-day struggle for the entire family."

The family's attorney says the doctor's tried to ween the teen off the coma over the weekend, but it didn't go well. "They have tried to ween her off the medically induced coma drugs. Each time, her body has responded poorly. My understanding is that one time, the fever spiked dramatically, and, of course, they immediately reintroduced her to the fully induced coma. She's never been out of it."

Fifteen-year-old Wayne Treacy is charged with attempted murder in the case. This all comes at the same time that the U.S. Department of Justice has released its 40-page report of recommendations for schools on how to deal with bullying.

There has been a lot of teen violence at schools across the nation lately, and, the Dept. of Justice says, it's up to the schools and police to develop a plan to put a stop to this.

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