TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay area mother is sharing her story of survival after she was stabbed 13 times.
“Honestly thought I was going to die there,” Crystal Bresnahan said. “I couldn’t breathe. I could feel my lungs filling up with blood,” she continued. “It was terrifying.”
Investigators said Crystal was allegedly attacked by her husband, the same man who officials say pulled out an AK-47 and started shooting at police last month on Florida Ave.
Police said 18 officers returned fire on Michael Bresnahan in an effort to protect innocent bystanders.
They later found him dead inside the car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Crystal is now giving 8 On Your Side details on what led up to the shootout.
“As he was stabbing me in the front seat, my 6-year-old son, Michael, said, ‘Dad, stop! You’re killing my mom.'”
July 17 was the day that changed Crystal’s life forever.
Moments before the attack, she said, “We had an extensive talk about how I’m not coming home.”
“That was something he’d ask me every day, ‘Please come home, please come home.,'” she continued. “I said, ‘I’m never coming home.'”
“He just kind of played it like, ‘I’m really hurt and I would like to see the kids; it’s going to make me feel better,'” she continued explaining.
Crystal said Michael asked her if he could take their children to a park and she agreed.
She never imagined what would happen next as she went to give her kids a kiss goodbye.
“The minute I got to the other side of the car and I grabbed my son’s face to pull him in for a kiss, I felt the knife in my back,” Crystal explained. “He said, ‘Get in the car and don’t scream.'”
“I just started screaming,” she continued.
She fought back, telling 8 On Your Side she knew he’d kill her if she got in the car.
“When he realized he wasn’t going to get that door closed, he just started stabbing me,” Crystal said. She said the knife went in and out over and over again.
“He pulled me out of the car, stabbed me some more and threw me on the ground,” Crystal recalled. “[Then, he] drove off.”
She remembers walking 100 yards with 13 stab wounds.
“Blood everywhere,” she recalled. “There wasn’t a piece of my body that wasn’t completely soaked in blood.”
Crystal said a man saw her and ran toward her after two people drove past.
“When I knew someone was coming to help, it’s like my body just shut down and I just fell,” she explained.
Now, she’s out of the hospital recovering.
“It’s really painful,” she explained. “I’ve still got stitches all over my body, and I can’t use this hand.”
Crystal said she’s had multiple surgeries, received several stitches, and doctors had to put her intestines back into her body.
“I was stabbed in my liver, my colon, my lungs a couple times,” she explained. “This arm was shredded.”
“It was bad. They had to put it back together,” she said, looking down at her left arm.
“If you had a message for [Michael] today, what would it be?,” 8 On Your Side reporter Nicole Rogers asked.
“You failed; I’m still here,” Crystal said. “I won; I get to live my life in peace.”
“I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore,” she continued. “But I would also say that I’m sorry.”
“I think about that a lot – what I would say to him if I could,” Crystal continued. “The biggest one, though, is that you lost.”