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Woman Set on Fire Faces Long Recovery

11:05 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- A Thomasville mother of two could spend six months in a hospital bed and the father is behind bars.

Portugal Byas is accused of pouring gasoline on his wife Angela, and lighting her on fire.

READ: Woman Doused With Gasoline, Set on Fire

WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower spoke with members of Angela's family, and they say it's still hard to believe what happened.

"It's really devastating to deal with," said Phillip Johnson, Byas's uncle. 

What were once everyday habits are now tiny miracles for Angela Byas.

"When you call her name, or you speak loudly to her, she will acknowledge sometimes by movement of her head," explained Johnson. "Sometimes she will even move her fingers."

Burns cover a majority of her body preventing her from talking and breathing on her own. The face that Angela's uncle has known for 33 years, her entire life, is unrecognizable.

"We just stay focused on the positives but always have to be realistic and understand the negatives that are going on right now," said Johnson. 

He added, "Nothing should ever lead to this and nothing should ever be ignored to the point where it gets to this extreme and it definitely needs to be brought to the forefront, and people made aware of it." 

Johnson says what his family needs most are prayers.

He says doctors expect Angela to be hospitalized for six months. After that, she will need another six months of rehabilitation. 

Portugal Byas is charged with attempted murder and first-degree arson.

WFMY News 2

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