LAKE FOREST (CBSLA) — “I’m alive and I’m here,” says Mary Lou Palos.
After the Lake Forest mom was stabbed 20 times by an intruder in her home and chased down the street where he continued to attack her, it is not lost on her how lucky she is.
Here? She is fortunate to be anywhere.
Palos came home from the hospital earlier Friday. At home, she spoke to CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Stacey Butler about her harrowing ordeal.
She doesn’t take long to answer when asked what got her through it all.
“My faith is what kept me alive,” Palos says.
The stranger, now identified as 25-year-old Anaheim resident James Carlos Melendrez, broke into her home through a kitchen window Wednesday afternoon. Once inside he stabbed her with a kitchen knife.
“I want to thank God, first,” Palos says, “I was born again. It was a miracle from God.”
Palos told Butler that Melendrez broke in already looking strange.
“He had the face of a devil. He looked like he had so much anger in him, he looked like he was willing to do anything,” she says.
Her two daughters were also home. She ran out of the home in an effort to save them.
“I screamed so loud. And my first thought is my kids! My kids! They’re inside,” Palos says.
She told Butler she immediately began to pray — and run.
“I started running as fast as I could,” she says. Surveillance video of her running down the street and screaming has gone viral.
She screamed for anyone to save her but no one heard her — and finally she called out to God.
“Do not leave me. I said look at the situation I’m in,” Palos recalls, “Please help me. Please help me.”
Exhausted, she collapsed and the suspect stabbed her again.
“He stabbed me here, too,” she says pointing to her neck, “and that’s when I thought this is it. Then I said no. This is not it for me. I have to out pressure here because I saw the puddle of blood.”
By the time neighbors jumped out of their car to help, Palos was already losing consciousness.
She didn’t want to die there on the sidewalk.
“Don’t take me. I have my kids, my husband. Give me a second chance because they need me. My parents!? What are they gonna say when they find out,” Palos said.
On this Easter weekend, Palos says she’s been given a second chance at life and now, she’s not holding back. While she was in the hospital, she had time to think about life.
“Don’t just get involved in your life, your phones. That’s nothing. He’s the one,” she says pointing skyward, “because without him I would have been dead.”
Palos knows she has a long recovery ahead, mentally and emotionally. She said she had a difficult time even going through her own front door. But she told Butler, with her faith and her family, she knows she can get through anything.