Machete attack victim gives thanks she’s alive for holiday - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Machete attack victim gives thanks she’s alive for holiday

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Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 5:17 am | Updated: 3:49 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Rebekah Deeds isn’t being cliché when she says she’s grateful to be alive this Thanksgiving — two months after being attacked with a machete.

“I’m happy because I’m alive,” the 22-year-old Pinal County resident said. “I’m thankful for my family and that my children are well.”

She also is grateful that the divorce from her jailed husband was finalized Tuesday. He has been charged in the September attack against Deeds and her boyfriend, John Vigileos, in which Deeds suffered 15 lacerations on her head, hands, arms, wrists and side. She’s had four major surgeries and is in physical therapy three times a week.

Her hands tremble as she shows how their movement is restricted. She’s been told by doctors that she may regain the use of her right hand, her predominant one, in a year to 18 months if all goes well.

“I’m not cooking this year, obviously,” she said with a laugh.

The family has received support from family friends and their church, Epic

Christian Church — where members have done everything from cook meals to help redecorate the home to try to erase bad memories.

This year, Deeds will be spending Thanksgiving with Vigileos, his family and her children.

The kids, who witnessed the attack, are the reason she bounced back so quickly, she said.

“They follow mom’s way,” Deeds said. “If mom says everything is OK and everything is going to get better — they’ll believe me more when I act that way. Even though this happened, we’re all OK.”

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