A 62-year-old woman battling breast cancer was horribly beaten at work by a hammer-wielding attacker who broke into her office, police said.
The Missouri woman, who asked that she be identified only as Joyce, told KCTV she was speaking publicly because she wants the man to be caught.
She was working early Tuesday morning at the Kansas City Crittenton Children’s Center when she heard a colleague scream.
She found her co-worker being attacked by a man who broken a window to get into the administrative office of the facility, which provides psychiatric care to children and adolescents.
And that’s when the intruder came for her.
He bashed her in the face, head and body, blacking both eyes, breaking her nose and splitting the skin to the bone. Her left lung collapsed during the attack when the man began kicking her and bashing her body with the hammer, her family said.
“My first instinct was to lay there just play dead,” she told the station. “But I thought any minute, another blow is going to come to the back of my head and that would be it,” she said.
“He was being relentless with me.”
A GoFundMe page has been established by Joyce’s sibling.
“My sister only just returned to work last week,” the woman wrote. “She also started radiation for breast cancer that same week.”
Joyce “lives with our disabled mom and is her primary caretaker,” the sister said. "Right now we just don’t know she’s going to cover her living expenses. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.”
The attacker fled when another colleague arrived, but not before he grabbed the keys to the first victim’s car and drove off, police said. The initial victim's injuries were not released by police.
Officers later spotted the stolen vehicle and chased it, but the man crashed and then ran into a dense forest area where police lost him.
K-9 units were brought in, but didn’t find the attacker, police said.
Authorities are continuing to investigate and have asked for the public’s help in identifying the man.