An Ottawa woman brutally attacked while on vacation in Barbados was airlifted home Wednesday morning.

Terry Schwarzfeld, 60, is in serious condition at Ottawa hospital.

Friends say Schwarzfeld and her daughter-on-law, Luana Cotsman were walking along an isolated stretch of beach when they were approached by a would-be robber Saturday night.

Neighbour Andre Brantz told CTV Ottawa when the women told the man they didn't have anything to offer, the man grabbed a piece of wood and attacked them.

Schwarzfeld took the brunt of the attack and suffered swelling to the brain.

She was heavily sedated in Barbadian hospital to reduce the swelling and internal bleeding.

Schwarzfeld, a prominent member in Ottawa's Jewish community, was recently elected as the international vice president of Hadassah International, a leading Jewish women's philanthropic organization.

Authorities in Barbados are investigating. Police there say three people of interest have been questioned.