CHICAGO
10/25/2011 10:55 am ET Updated Dec 25, 2011

Virginia Perillo, Veteran Nurse, Beaten To Death At Her Home (VIDEO)

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A longtime Rush University Medical Center registered nurse was found severely beaten outside her home in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood Saturday night and died the next day from the injuries she sustained.

Virginia Perillo, 73, was found lying facedown on the ground between two cars, one of which was still running, in her garage on the 3300 block of South Parnell Avenue on Saturday by a neighbor, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. She may have been robbed.

Perillo sustained serious blows to the head and never regained consciousness after she was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital in critical condition, according to the Chicago Tribune. She died Sunday.

Cris Lowry, Perillo's supervisor at Rush for the past 40 years, told NBC Chicago that her former coworker was "dedicated ... She just wanted to make patients feel cared for. If it was rubbing your back or holding your hand. She just had the compassion to do whatever it took to make that individual feel like they were her own family member."

Her son, John Perillo, told the Tribune that nursing was her "passion" -- that she always put in extra hours at Rush "just to help the other patients." Her husband Mauro had suffered a stroke only a few weeks prior to her death and she was likely returning from visiting him in the hospital when she was attacked.

She is survived by three sons in addition to her husband.

Police are investigating the victim's death as a homicide and do not have any suspects in custody at this time.