SEREMBAN, Malaysia - Sister Julianna Lim may have irreversible brain injury after being attacked with a helmet in the compound of a church here early on Wednesday.
The 69-year-old from the Holy Infant Jesus order based in Kampung Pasir has several blood clots in the head after being repeatedly struck with the helmet at the Church of Visitation here.
Members of the Roman Catholic order "specialise" in helping the poor and homeless and is famous worldwide for reaching out to the marginalised, making sure they get opportunities to make a better life for themselves.
Church member P. Mary Josephine, 65, said doctors had conveyed this to church officials as Lim's condition had not improved since she was wheeled after the attack.
"Her pressure was extremely high when she was brought in but has since dropped. Doctors are trying their best to stabilise her but there are no signs of recovery yet," she said.
Several church members have been praying by Lim's bedside at the hospital since she was brought in for treatment.
Josephine said Lim suffered severe internal head injuries and bleeding.
"It is a painful time for the family, relatives as well as church members. We are praying that she pulls through," she said.
Sister Marie Rose alias Theresa Teng who was also attacked has regained consciousness and could talk to her visitors.
The police recorded a statement from the 79-year-old yesterday.
Josephine said Marie Rose gave some details of the attack to church officials.
"She said there was a lone attacker who struck her with a helmet while they were walking near the entrance to the church.
"She begged the suspect not to harm her as she was old but then he pounced on Lim," she said.
Josephine said Marie Rose also suffered some internal bleeding but doctors have managed to stop this.
"She is all right as it did not affect the major veins in her head," she said.
A church member said both the sisters were once active in community work.
"They used to run a kindergarten for poor children and do charity work in Kg Pasir. But they have been unable to do active work in recent years due to their age and health. One of them even suffers from a range of ailments," he said, adding that he took the responsibility of collecting the monthly prescriptions for one of the nuns.
Another church member said Marie Rose used to serve as a nun at the old Convent Infant Jesus school along Jalan Dato' Bandar Tunggal.
"She was well liked by the students and some of them still kept in touch. In fact, my daughter who is in Singapore was crying when she called me to ask about the incident," said another member.
The school has since been demolished.
Another church member, who only wished to be known as Kam, said both the sisters were regulars at church.