The victim of an alleged stabbing on the Australian National University campus will "have some serious long-term [health] issues," her mum has said.
Ilysha Perry, 20, was allegedly stabbed multiple times on Monday afternoon in a horrific alleged attack which shocked the nation.
Her mother Fiona Coffey said the young arts student was still in an intensive care unit at Canberra Hospital in Woden.
"She's going to have some serious long-term issues, but hopefully she'll recover, but she'll never be the same," Ms Coffey said.
Alex Leonard Ophel, 24, has been charged with two accounts of attempted murder over the incident.
Ophel allegedly stabbed two female students, and hit two males with a frypan.
Ms Coffey said she did not know if Ilysha would survive when she first heard about the knife attack.
She said she had spent the weekend with her daughter, and had only returned home to Batemans Bay about seven hours prior to getting the nightmare call.
A two-hour drive away, Ms Coffey said she was told to immediately leave home.
"They weren't sure that I would get there in time," she said
"We didn't know if she was going to survive or not. So that I think was the worst, the worst part for me."
When Ms Coffey first visited Ilysha in hospital, she felt "lucky" her daughter was still alive.
"I felt pretty lucky that she had hung on that long to see me," she said. "I felt pretty lucky that she was still with us."
While still in a serious but stable condition, Ilysha has now spoken to her mother, Ms Coffey confirmed.
All five of Ms Coffey's other children have visited the young student.
Ms Coffey said she still felt "numb" about the attack, and the entire family was devastated: "[Ilysha is] my precious baby because she's my youngest."
The mum-of-six described her daughter as brave and "a very private person" in her second year of university.
"She's the quietest, loveliest girl," Ms Coffey said.
Ms Coffey also thanked the man who first responded to her daughter, crediting him for saving her life.
Ophel was a patient at Gawanggal Mental Health Unit.
Staff only told ACT police he was missing from facility minutes before they knew about the alleged attack, police told The Canberra Times.
On Monday, Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson defended the leave practices of ACT mental health facilities.
"Our mental health facilities in Canberra deal with very complex situations every day and it's a particularly complex area for mental health workers to be in," she said.
ANU chancellor Julie Bishop and university security staff have expressed anger at the events that unfolded, wishing they had more warning before the alleged attack.
Ms Coffey encouraged ANU students to continue studying, insisting the university was a safe place.
She encouraged any students struggling to seek help.
"ANU is a safe place," Ms Coffey said. "For the students that are struggling, please get some help.
"Don't let fear stop you from reaching your dreams."
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