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Sarasota County woman hopes to inspire others after surviving a brutal attack

She was attacked at a restaurant where she worked
Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-02 10:23:28-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A Sarasota County woman survived a brutal attack nearly 10 years ago and wants to give others hope during their darkest days.

"I can remember what happened without getting bogged down or lost in it," said Alyssa Blasing.

On Friday evening, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota premiered a video featuring Alyssa Blasing. Encompass Health hopes to use the video to inspire other patients.

Alyssa survived a brutal attack in 2008. During a robbery, a former co-worker attacked her at the restaurant where she worked in Bradenton.

She was shot twice, once in the head. Detectives said she was hit at least 20 times with a hammer then left in a utility closet.

"I was beaten and shot two times and left for dead and actually, I played dead so the bad guy would leave the restaurant. I wasn't expected to survive," said Alyssa.

She suffered a traumatic brain injury and doctors are amazed she survived.

"Alyssa has always wanted to be the voice of inspiration to people, people who have been the victims of violent crimes, people with traumatic brain injuries. She wanted to put the word out there that there's still hope. There's still life. It might be different, but it can still be good," said her mother Kathy Wyatt.

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After the brutal attack, Alyssa spent months in the hospital. She was in a coma for three weeks before being transferred to Encompass Health in Sarasota for six months. She could not see or walk. She barely could speak.

"This video is for the public to know about incredible and inspirational stories of people who deal or dealt with traumatic injuries and have recovered," said Marcus Braz, Chief Executive Officer of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota.

"Never give up hope and never lose the will or the fight...have a fighting spirit because things change and things are hard sometimes, but keep on keeping on," said Alyssa.

The video will be placed on Encompass Health Platforms across the country. The rehabilitation hospital has more than 100 locations nationwide.