GuiYing Ma, the 61-year-old grandmother who was bashed in the head with a rock in Queens, New York, has woken from her two-month coma,
Ma was reportedly able to open her eyes and move her right arm and leg on Monday, reported ABC7.
“In the very beginning, she was sleeping. I called her name. She responded to me,” Ma’s husband, Zanxin Gao, said. “I asked her to move your hand. She moved her hand. Move your leg. She moved her leg.”
Ma was sweeping outside of her home after Thanksgiving in Jackson Heights when 33-year-old Elisaul Perez, who has since been convicted, struck her in the head with a large rock. She was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital where she suffered a serious injury involving brain bleeding that required an open skull surgery to drain fluid and relieve pressure, as NextShark previously reported.
Gao was not allowed to be with his wife in the hospital until Monday, according to ABC7.
“That’s the first time we know she was awake,” Gao stated. “I’m happy. I’m so happy.”
The family’s landlord and friend Yihung Hsieh also set up a GoFundMe page with the goal of $200,000 to help cover for Ma’s medical bills.
“She doesn’t have medical insurance and lost jobs after pandemic,” Hsieh wrote in the fundraiser’s description. “Her husband was working for a restaurant cleaning. Their son and two grandchildren are all in China. Besides her husband, no other families in US.”
“When she saw me working in the backyard, she cooked dumplings or noodles without asking me and would come and bring it to me for lunch,” Hsieh said. “She told me she wanted to help me sweep the sidewalk. I feel pretty bad, this incident happened, because she was helping me.”
“He’s always thinking his wife might not understand him and may not be able to talk, like a vegetable, and that maybe she’d be in a coma for a long time. He was very worried about how to take care of her,” he added, highlighting Gao’s fears. “Mrs. Ma was awakened and Mr. Gao was so happy. I asked him how it was, and he told me much better. I think Mrs. Ma is the best medicine.”
Ma is reportedly still unable to move her left side, and the extent of her expected recovery is still uncertain.
While the attacker was arrested and charged with first and second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, Perez was not charged with a hate crime, according to New York Daily News.