A woman given just a 1% chance of survival after being knifed by a stranger has forgiven her attacker.
Kayleigh White was 17 years old when Lee Jeffries-Jones stabbed her in the back with a bread knife.
He launched the assault after vowing to “kill 20 people” following a row with a friend.
The blade went so deep that Kayleigh’s kidney was cut in half. She collapsed but managed to drag herself to a pal’s house.
The brave teenager asked her friend to take a photo of Jeffries-Jones, inset – still holding the knife – which was used as
evidence in court.
Kayleigh, now 21, said: “I just felt this really quick in-and-out in my back. I fell to the floor. I could feel myself bleeding out. I’ve never screamed so loud in my life.”
Kayleigh was taken to hospital but the pain was unbearable. She said: “I screamed at them to let me die.”
Yet after 10 hours in surgery, and four days unconscious, she pulled through.
An emergency procedure left her with a 35cm scar down her stomach. Now a mum, Kayleigh went on to suffer from PTSD and an addiction to painkillers.
She said: “Every time I dropped off to sleep, I’d wake up in the night, my whole body jolting as if I’m being stabbed repeatedly.
“I started taking sleeping tablets, then a cocktail of drugs and opiates.
“I wasn’t taking them for the pain any more – I was taking them for my mental pain.”
She also had to face Jeffries-Jones at his trial. But Kayleigh said: “He just looked sorry for what he’d done. He just looked in my eyes and told me he was sorry.”
Jeffries-Jones, 31, was sentenced to 20 years for the attack in Yeovil, Somerset.
Incredibly, Kayleigh says she has forgiven him.
She said: “Imagine doing one thing wrong and being punished for it your whole life – it would make your life not worth living.”
See the full interview with Kayleigh on Survivors With Denise Welch on April 19 at 9pm on Crime + Investigation.
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