Natasha McShane, the student left in a coma after being assaulted in Chicago has spoken her first words since the attack.
Miss McShane, from Silverbridge in County Armagh, was attacked as she returned home from a night out with a friend on 23 April.
The family have told local reporters that Natasha can now speak a few words and smile.
But she remains in a serious condition and is still in intensive care.
Miss McShane, a former Queen's University student, and her friend Stacy Jurich, were attacked from behind and struck on the back of their heads with a baseball bat.
Miss Jurich was released from hospital shortly after the assault.
Heriberto Viramontes, 31, and his alleged accomplice, Marcy Cruz, 25, have been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and other charges.
They are both being held without bail.