Mother Stabbed 20 Times Prayed While Trying to Fending Off Attacker

Three days after she was attacked by a man on a crazed crime spree, Marylou Palos is home.

The mother of two says she relied on her strong faith as she came face to face with an intruder on Tuesday.

"I'm very sore, but I'm alive and I'm here."

She recalled the terrifying incident on Tuesday in Lake Forest when a suspect, identified as James Carlos Melendrez went on a rampage at her home.

"He looked very angry," she said. "He had the face of a devil."

She says he reached into the kitchen drawer and pulled out a knife.

"I started running as fast as I could because I wanted to get him out of the house, because of my kids, I didn't want them to be hurt."

Palos' desperate run was captured on security video. At one point, she said, she ran out of steam.

"I couldn't run anymore," she said. "I said, 'I'm going to go to the sidewalk and fight this man. I have no choice.'

"So I did that."

Palos tried to defend herself, but was stabbed more than 20 times in the neck and chest. Good Samaritans came to help.

Police say the suspect stole their car and went on to hurt several more people. As Palos laid on the street, she prayed to live.

"I felt that I was going to enter another place," she said. "But I said, 'no, please no, don't take me. I have my kids, my husband. Give me a second chance because they need me.'"

Her long road to recovery starts with stepping foot back inside her house. The first step was preceded by a prayer.

"It's going to be hard, but I have faith that I can do it because if I was able to fight for my life and my kids life? I can fight. This is nothing compared to what I went through."

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