Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the brutal attack on Josie Lou Ratley outside Deerfield Beach Middle School, and though her progress has been good, her mother says it's still a sensitive time.
Ratley was 15 years old last March 17 when she nearly died after she was kicked and stomped in the head by steel-toed boot wearing classmate Wayne Treacy.
Treacy, also 15 at the time, attacked Ratley at a bus stop outside the school after he became enraged over text messages Ratley allegedly sent regarding Treacy's brother who had recently committed suicide.
Ratley, now 16, suffered severe brain damage and spent over 40 days in a medically induced coma. She underwent three brain surgeries, had a part of her damaged brain removed, and is still in the process of relearning nearly everything, from her ABC's and 123's to physical activities like brushing her teeth and taking a shower.
"Josie continues to work hard in her recovery," Gotay said, "but she still has a long way to go."
Treacy, also 16 now, is behind bars, charged as an adult with first-degree attempted murder.