Fight for life gives vic­tim new out­look

The Beacon Herald - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE PINKERTON NEWS

LON­DON — Sit­ting on the curb out­side the Good­will cen­tre near down­town Lon­don, blood pour­ing down her body, she said she felt the will to live for the first time in years.

She’d been stabbed in the neck in a shock­ing at­tack in broad day­light out­side the Good­will Com­mu­nity Store and Do­na­tion Cen­tre, then hos­pi­tal­ized with life-threat­en­ing in­juries.

Now, two weeks later and out of hospi­tal, the woman says it was a mo­ment that changed her out­look on life af­ter nearly a decade of strug­gles with drug ad­dic­tion and a re­cent brush with the law.

“My whole life it was hard for me to get out of bed ev­ery morn­ing and want to live, and for the first time in my 26 years, I was ac­tu­ally fight­ing to live and try­ing not to die,” said Lexie, who did not want her last name used, say­ing she wants to pro­tect her daugh­ter’s pri­vacy.

“It was scary. Very scary,” she said of the July 25 dra­mat­ics.

Re­leased from jail three weeks ear­lier, the woman said she’d spent 3½ months be­hind bars for theft and pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty and breaches of pro­ba­tion and court con­di­tions. In jail, she said, she be­came clean of drugs.

She said she was with her boyfriend that day when a shout­ing match broke out with an­other man. That led to a scuf­fle and the other man draw­ing a knife. She said she knows her at­tacker.

“I said, ‘If you’re go­ing to stab some­one, then stab me, you’re not stab­bing my boyfriend,’ and he . . . swung and stabbed me right here,” Lexie said, point­ing to her neck.

“I put my hands to my neck right away and went and sat down on the curb,” she said. “Ev­ery time I tried to breathe, I could feel the air flap­ping my skin . . . It was bad. I was chok­ing on blood.”

The brazen day­time at­tack re­port­edly brought out the best in peo­ple who rushed to help, per­form­ing first aid, us­ing a shirt to staunch the bleed­ing and calm­ing by­standers at the busy lo­ca­tion.

The woman said she doesn’t re­mem­ber it like that, that she tried to close the wound with her own hands be­fore some­one on the side­walk gave her a jean vest to cover it. “No­body was do­ing any­thing,” she said.

She said the am­bu­lance ar­rived quickly, but it felt like for­ever for the paramedics to re­move a stretcher from the back, so she walked into the back her­self.

She said she spent a week in the hospi­tal, in­clud­ing five days in in­ten­sive care, and had a tra­cheotomy — a tube run­ning through her neck to let her breathe prop­erly.

“That was the scari­est mo­ment of my life,” she said of the surgery.

The scar form­ing on her neck stretches un­der her chin. It took 18 stitches to close, she said.

“I’m shocked at how lucky I was. Es­pe­cially for a neck wound, you don’t hear about peo­ple sur­viv­ing that too of­ten.”

Lexie said her mother thought she was go­ing to die, and her 10-year-old daugh­ter doesn’t know she was stabbed.

She said she’s try­ing to be a new per­son now.

“I was fight­ing to stay away and to keep my­self from dy­ing. I was beg­ging for (the doc­tors) to save my life in­stead of hop­ing that it would end. So it’s nice. It’s a new out­look; it’s a lot more pos­i­tive.”

Hashim Peters is charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault and pos­sess­ing a dan­ger­ous weapon.

CHAR­LIE PINKERTON/POST­MEDIA

Lexie was stabbed in the neck in front of the Good­will cen­tre two weeks ago. She says she sur­prised her­self with her will to sur­vive.

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