OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - A woman who feeds cats across Broward County is recovering in the hospital after, authorities said, a man attacked her in Oakland Park.

Officials said the suspect has since been arrested in Port St. Lucie.

Sixty-three-year-old Maria Salete Ouverney, her face bruised and swollen, struggled to speak as she lay in a hospital bed, Friday.

“This is so bad. I can’t believe this is my life,” she said.

Salete Ouverney feeds the feral cats in an alley behind a McDonald’s on Oakland Park Boulevard.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, she was doing so at around 7 p.m. on Sunday when 28-year-old Antonino Santo Romano walked up to her. Investigators believe he was eyeing her purse and car.

“He just attacked her for no reason. He saw a 63-year-old elderly woman by herself,” said Deanna Camacho, a friend of the victim. “He must have stomped on her face for the injuries that she has.”

Investigators said Romano hit the victim on the head and face and took off in her car.

“Very happy they got him yesterday,” said Salete Ouverney.

Now the victim is focusing on her recovery.

“I have a lot of pain in my face,” she said.

“She has facial fractures to her optic sockets, her nasal [cavity], her cheekbones, and [her treatment] is going to consist of three surgeries,” said Camacho.

Salete Ouverney is unable to afford the surgeries on a housekeeper’s salary, so her friends have started a GoFundMe page.

“She is an amazing individual. I mean, she really puts the animals above herself,” said Camacho, “and it’s not just the animals, it’s humans. She goes to the food banks, she collects food for other people and delivers it. She goes every single day to feed over 100 cats, daily, and we’re all just very worried about her. We’re going to take care of her cats in the community while she’s in here resting and recuperating, and we just really wish her well.”

Salete Ouverney said she will likely have permanent damage and lose all of her teeth.

Romano is facing one count of attempted felony murder and one count of carjacking without a firearm or weapon.

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