APTN National News
It’s still hard for Marlene Bird to remember exactly what happened to her the night she was attacked and set on fire in Prince Albert last June.
She recalls talking to a group of people, mostly men who seemed nice, but she didn’t know any of them.
“All of a sudden I don’t know what happened but I started to get hurt, to get hit,” said Bird, 47. in an interview with APTN National News airing tonight. “I started to get hit on my head. I was trying to get up to see.”
She blacked out.
When Bird came to in the hospital she didn’t know what happened to her or the extent of her injuries.
The back of her head was swollen from the beating and her face lacerated, partially exposed from cuts nearly taking her left eye.
She was also set on fire with severe burns waist down. They were so bad doctors had to remove both of her legs.
“Why did this have to happen to me?” said Bird. “What did I do so wrong to have this happen to me?”
Even though she doesn’t remember the attack, Bird says she is haunted by what happened.
“I kept dreaming and having some nightmares waking up just scared and shaking,” she said.
Police later arrested and charged Leslie Black who’s scheduled to appear in court again later this month.
Prince Albert police said they don’t expect to charge anyone else for the attack on Bird and the details of its investigation will come out in trial.
For Bird, adjusting to a life with no legs, and dealing the same addictions that left her homeless, is a constant struggle.
She started drinking before she was in the Grade 1 and has lost count of how many foster homes she lived in. She struggles with past sexual and physical abuse and grew up as a product residential schools and an alcoholic home.
Bird is a client of the YWCA and receiving addictions counselling, as well as temporary housing.
Those helping Bird are struggling to find permanent housing that is wheelchair accessible.