Barbara Maier Gustern is 87-years-old and is an active performer and voice coach in the city.
Gustern was wrapping up rehearsal Thursday night in Chelsea when a woman approached her from behind and shoved her to the ground.
Gustern suffered a massive head injury and is currently in the hospital in critical condition.
“She’s the light of my life,” said her grandson A.J. who flew in from Colorado to be with his grandmother at Bellevue Hospital. “I’m angry at the state of the world. I’m angry at the state of the city.”
Fellow performer and friend Barbara Bleier was practicing with Gustern moments before the horrific push.
“She was bleeding profusely from the head,” Bleier said.
Gustern was walking along 28th Street on her way to attend a student’s performance when the woman attacked her near 8th Avenue.
Police are still searching for the suspect.
“I know my grandmother would want to forgive and I do as well,” A.J. said. “However, I believe she should be removed from the streets. This whole city needs help.”
Gustern was directing and performing in an upcoming cabaret. The first performance was scheduled just days after the attack was cancelled.
The cast decided to go ahead with the two remaining shows and donate the proceeds to a soup kitchen Gustern supported. They say, she would’ve insisted the show go on.
Bite Barbara Bleier
“She is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met,” Bleier said.
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Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.