A doctor who treated teen beating victim Josie Ratley testified Tuesday at the trial of the boy accused of the attack.
Dr. Randall Powell testified how close Ratley came to dying on the operating table.
"Her brain started to swell, it's happening fast, it's happening bad and that usually kills you, we couldn't put the skull bone back on," Powell said. "After surgery, I took her to the pediatric intensive care unit and told Dr. Laspada 'I don't think she's gonna make it.' She was barely clinging to life, we could barely detect any sparks of life but she was still alive, which I thought was amazing."
"I think it's a miracle she's alive, really," Powell testified.
The neurosurgeon was the first witness Tuesday in the trial of Wayne Treacy, which began Monday with opening statements.
Treacy, 17, has been charged as an adult with attempted murder in the March 17, 2010 attack on Ratley at a bus stop outside Deerfield Beach Middle School.
Police said Treacy sought out Ratley, who was 15 at the time, after she sent him text messages about his older brother, Michael, who had recently committed suicide. Prosecutors said he punched, kicked and stomped her head wearing all black and in his brother's steel-toed construction boots.
Ratley suffered severe brain damage in the attack and spent over 40 days at the pediatric intensive care unit at Broward General Medical Center.
Walter Welsh, a teacher at the school, saw the attack from a distance and rushed to help.
"I saw two, possibly three kicks," he said in court Tuesday. "Now I got close to him and he had his leg cocked to kick her again and I left my feet, hit him pretty hard and knocked him backwards."
Welsh said he also asked Treacy what the teenager was thinking about when the attack happened.
"He responded with his head down, 'She talked about my dead brother,"" the teacher said.
Also called to testify were several students who witnessed the attack.
"His hands were on her head and he was repeatedly banging it on the concrete," Quadishia Moss said. "I was in shock, I had never seen anything like this in my life, it was like I couldn't move."
"He comes from behind and just grabs Josie and pushes her down...he grabbed her head and started mashing it on the floor," Briana Cardenas testified. " After that he got up and started kicking her...he kicked her head like you would a soccer ball, I was really shocked and I started crying...there was a lot of blood."
Treacy cried during prosecutor Maria Schneider's opening statement Monday, which was attended by Ratley's mother and Treacy's parents.
"He grabbed her head by the hair and started smashing it to the surface...kicked her head as if it were a soccer ball and stomped on it as if he was putting out a fire," Schneider said.
Schneider also showed school surveillance video in court.
Defense attorneys say Treacy was not in control of what he was doing at the time of the attack. They said Ratley's text messages angered Treacy and intend to use an insanity defense.
"He was generally a nice kid, but after his brother died, things changed," said attorney Russell Williams, who added that PTSD robbed the teenager of control of emotions and actions.
Treacy's girlfriend at the time of the attack and a friend both testified Monday about text messages Treacy sent them.
Treacy has been held without bond since the attack. He faces up to 50 years behind bars if convicted.