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Help pours in for artist who had her fingers hacked off

The talented Russian artist who cannot even hold a pen after a savage attack in which she had her fingers hacked off is now hoping to rebuild her life -- thanks to generous support from the Irish public.

Alexandra Trotsenko (39) was in her Finglas apartment in 2009 when she was attacked and left for dead by burglar James Kenny, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison this week.

She was left with just one finger on her right hand, and has been told that prosthetic fingers will cost €10,000. She cannot afford the bill because she has no health insurance.

But now a host of stars from television and the arts have banded together to try and raise money through a charity auction after hearing Alexandra tell her story to Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline.

On the show she spoke of her ordeal, and how she feared she would die. She told how she answered a knock at her door, and saw Kenny in front of her.

"I wanted to close the door, but compared to his size I'm little, so I can't really resist. He just pushed me away and came into the apartment," said Alexandra.







Machete

"He didn't allow me to look at him. He turned me away from him. He said, 'This is a burglary, give me your card, your money and your valuables'."

Then things turned brutal and Kenny pushed Alexandra to the floor. She had been attempting to shield herself with her hand when he lunged at her with a machete.

"I know the human heart is on the left side, I tried to keep my left side away from him. All my right side was badly injured in the attack. I was barely conscious but I was trying to get my hand back from him," Alexandra recalled.

"But my hand was on the mattress of the bed and I was lying down on the floor and I tried to slide my hand down, so three times he stabbed me and my middle finger was ruptured in two places.

"My index finger was cut off from the joint, and my middle finger. The surgeons did a great job of re-attaching my middle finger."

Alexandra now only has a complete middle finger on her right hand.

"I knew my fingers were cut off. I didn't know how badly because I couldn't see, but I was holding the fingers in my left hand. They were attached only by the skin. I knew it was something bad," she explained.

Soaked with blood and barely conscious, Alexandra somehow made her way to a nearby hotel where staff called an ambulance. "They were brilliant. Irish people are absolutely incredible -- when you need help you will get it," she said.

The auction to raise money, entitled Art For Alexandra, will be held in Adam's auction rooms in Blackrock on November 27. Ryan Tubridy has donated a Toy Show jumper, and Dublin GAA star Bernard Brogan has donated a signed jersey.



Paintings

Joe Duffy himself has donated one of his own paintings. Alexandra made a career illustrating children's books, but has been unable to work since the attack. An account has also been set up for donations from the public. That account is Bank of Ireland Liveline at the Montrose branch. The account number is 70546818, and the sort code is 90-13-51.

See PJ Browne, P14


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