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Woman beaten with a hammer says she remembers entire NYC subway attack

Nina Rothschild, a city Health Department scientist, said she was struck 14 times. “I remember starting to go down the subway steps and feeling this blow to my head."

A New York woman who was beaten with a hammer in a vicious subway attack last month recounted the terrifying ordeal that left her hospitalized and wondering if she would ever walk again.

Nina Rothschild, a city Health Department scientist, had worked later than usual on Feb. 24. She was walking down the steps of the Queens Plaza subway station around 11:20 p.m. when a man approached her from behind, kicked her down the steps and then beat her over the head with a hammer.

Rothschild said she was struck 14 times.

"Fortunately or unfortunately, I remember basically the entire thing from start to finish," she said in an interview with NBC New York. "I remember starting to go down the subway steps and feeling this blow to my head, which I initially thought was a baseball bat. I kept yelling 'stop, stop, stop!' "

The suspect in the attack, William Blount, 57, fled after stealing her purse, according to police.

Rothschild said after Blount ran away, she started screaming for help. Two police officers who were on the subway platform heard her and came to her aid.

Rothschild underwent surgery to repair damage to her skull. When she woke up, she could not move her feet, she told the news station.

“I could barely stagger a few steps,” Rothschild said. 

After two weeks of rehabilitation, she's up and walking.

"When the physical and occupational therapists were asking me ‘what are your goals?’ I said, ‘well, I want my life back,' " she said.

The incident has left Rothschild hesitant about taking the subway. She said her coworkers started a GoFundMe to help raise money to cover the expense of Uber rides to and from work.

Blount was arrested and pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, according to NBC New York. At a March 25 arraignment, his attorney argued that Blount did not attack Rothschild.