TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida 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… It was terrifying.”
Investigators said Crystal was reportedly attacked by her husband, the same man who officials say pulled out an AK-47 and started shooting at police last month in the Tampa Bay area.
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 told 8 On Your Side what led up to the shootout on July 17 was an extensive talk when she told Michael she wasn’t coming back 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.
“As he was stabbing me in the front seat, my 6-year-old son, Michael, said, ‘Dad, stop! You’re killing my mom.'” She said she was ultimately pulled out of the vehicle and thrown to the ground before Michael reportedly drove away.
She remembers walking 100 yards with 13 stab wounds.
“There wasn’t a piece of my body that wasn’t completely soaked in blood,” she said.
Crystal said a man saw her and ran toward her after two people drove past. Now, she’s out of the hospital recovering.
Crystal said she’s had multiple surgeries, received several stitches, and doctors had to put her intestines back into her body. Recovery is still very painful, she said.
“I was stabbed in my liver, my colon, my lungs a couple times,” she explained. “[My left] arm was shredded… They had to put it back together.”
“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… 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 ‘You lost.”