Celebrating Queena

On Saturday afternoon, family and friends sang happy birthday to Queena for her 23rd birthday party at Keel and Curley Winery in Plant City.

Five years ago, Queena went to the Bloomingdale Library at night. She was raped, beaten and left to die there. She was 18, about to graduate high school and getting ready to attend the University of Florida on a full scholarship.

The attack rendered her unable to walk, talk, see or eat on her own. Now Queena's mother cares for her full time.

Medicaid covers $1,000 per year for speech and physical therapy. Queena's family still has to pay $70,000 a year for therapies and medical supplies.

Her attacker, Kendrick Morris, now 21, was convicted in May 2011 and is serving a 65-year state prison sentence.

For the first time since then, Queena is publicly sharing her name and face. At her family's request, the Tampa Bay Times is still withholding her last name due to the nature of the crime.

"She doesn't want to hide anymore," her sister Anna said at the celebration.

"She wants to be an inspiration to the community."

To donate, visit www.joinqueena.com.

Celebrating Queena 04/20/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 20, 2013 7:34pm]

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