DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The family of the Apex teen severely injured in a machete attack last week said she is giving strength to the family from her hospital bed as she recovers.
Priyanka Kumari’s father said she has 46 injuries to her face and head alone.
“She is completely changed in her face”, Pankaj Kumar said of his daughter. “I could not recognize her.”
That isn’t including multiple injuries to her hands. Doctors told the family Kumari’s hands may never work properly again. She’s currently being treated at Duke Hospital.
“She used her hands to protect yourself and suffered a lot of fractures of bones in her fingers,” Kumar said. “Tendons were cut. Veins were cut. A lot of muscles and skin were taken it off.”
Yet despite that, Kumar said his 18-year-old daughter is rallying he and his wife.
“She is holding us together. She’s giving us a lot of strength to cope with this,” Kumar said.
At the time of the attack, Kumar said his daughter thought she would be killed before it was over.
“She said at one point ‘I felt like I am going to die.’ She told him ‘let me die peacefully’ but he did not have any kind of concern,” Kumar said. “He stomped her by his feet. He jumped on her body and started to cut her throat – to cut her head off.”
The suspect, Neel Mehta, remains in jail under a $2 million bond.
Kumar said he has complete faith in the judicial system to make sure Mehta gets the punishment he deserves.
Kumari recounted the attack to her father from her hospital bed.
“I recorded her voice and sent it to police and they gave it to detectives to present to court,” Kumar said.
Two weeks before the attack, Kumari discussed obtaining a restraining order against Mehta. But Kumar said it wouldn’t have done any good.
“This kind of person cannot be stopped by a piece of paper. It’s too dangerous for him to live in a society freely,” Kumar said.
A GoFundMe has been established to help Kumari in her recovery.