SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A young mother who was stabbed three times in the chest during a carjacking in Vista earlier this month spoke out on Saturday about the night of her attack and her recovery.  

“I’m glad to be alive, thankful to be alive, thankful to still be here with this one,” Giselle Andino, a carjacking and stabbing survivor, said to FOX 5 on Saturday. She spoke sitting next to her 8-year-old daughter, McKenzie.

Andino spent six days in the hospital after the violent attack. “I’m hanging in there, still in a lot of pain, bit of an un-comfortability,” she said of her current condition.

On Sept. 24 , Andino pulled into the Vista Civic Center Transit Station parking lot. It’s a place where she parks sometimes to sleep in her car overnight or to stay with nearby friends.

Around 10:30 p.m., she said she saw a teenage boy leaving the parking lot. However, he came back shortly after, walking up to her passenger side window to ask to use her phone. As Andino recalled, she cracked her window to ask for a phone number to call.

“Then he walked around to the driver’s side,” Andino said.  “And when I looked up, he was reaching in and stabbing me with what appeared to be a kitchen steak knife.” 

The boy stabbed her in the chest twice, she recalled, then opened her door and dragged her out of the car.

“I just remember asking him, ‘Why are you doing this,’ and then saying ‘If you want the car, you can take the car, just take it’ and then he said ‘Shut the F up,’ punched me in the face, got me a third time, then took off,” Andino said.  

She recalled scrambling for help after the attack, calling both 9-1-1 and McKenzie’s grandmother. Andino needed medical attention quickly due to her Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting properly. 

“At that point, I’m thinking ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to die and all I wanted to do was talk to her,’” said Andino. “The whole time I kept asking the people in the ambulance, ‘Am I going to die? Am I going to die?’”

“I didn’t know, but I was afraid I was never going to see you again,” she added, referencing her daughter. “That was very scary to me.” 

The first stab punctured and collapsed her lung. But, it left her with a hold in her side that helped her breathe when she was in the hospital.

Several weeks after the incident, she still has staples on all three stab wounds.

“Even though I know I’m safe, just the feeling of not feeling safe,” Andino said. “You really can’t trust anybody, even though you want to be helpful. I’m thinking I’m helping this kid be able to get ahold of his parents or someone, but he had no intentions of calling anybody.”

Local police arrested a 15-year-old suspect in connection to the incident after he crashed the car on State Route 76. The boy faces charges of attempted murder, carjacking and felony evading.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Andino with her recovery expenses and other costs incurred as a result of the attack.

“I just need to be able to be mobile again in order to return to work, so I can back to getting out of the situation I’m in,” Andino said. “I’m trying to just remain positive because it is hard to stay positive after such a setback.”