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Hot oil attack victim Terri Thompson speaks out after release from hospital

May 17, 2013 2:54:39 PM PDT
After a month in a hospital burn unit where it was uncertain if she would survive, Terri Thompson is home, but still hurting.

If you would like to help Terri Thompson, a fund has been set up to help with her recovery:
Terri Thompson
Wells Fargo Bank
444 Union Avenue
Middlesex, NJ 08846

"It's hard to describe. It hurts like a burning sensation when I straighten my arms. Sometimes, I'm like I can't deal with today," Thompson said.

Consider how far Terri has come since that night in March when her ex-husband Byron Stokely is accused of pouring a pot of boiling oil on her. Just 4 weeks ago, she spoke to us from her hospital bed about the attack.

"I woke up feeling hot liquid all over me and he was standing next to me with the pot and I went on my knees and held my head down because I wanted it to run off my head without going in my eyes," she said during our interview in April.

Putting her head down, doctors say, saved her eyesight, but she will still need eye surgery.

"I can show you. My eyes don't close fully at all because I received 3rd degree burns on my forehead, which caused skin to pull and my eyes are constantly open," she explained.

Meanwhile, her ex-husband is still a fugitive, still considered dangerous.

"I'm scared to answer the door," Thompson said. "I worry that it's him. If I'm downstairs and the doorbell rings, I panic."

She says police missed several chances to catch him, including when she called police from her hospital bed after a neighbor said he had entered her apartment.

"So many times they came so close when he kept going back to the apartment. One of my thoughts were 'why didn't they have an unmarked car at the apartment,'" Thompson said.

Terri will soon have to wear both a face mask and body suit to help heal her burns. She has surgeries and months of physical therapy ahead and yet she smiles.

"I have to (smile) because I'm here and I'm surrounded by love and I'm happy," she said.

Thompson does not have insurance and has set up a fund for people to donate to help with her recovery:

Terri Thompson
Wells Fargo Bank
444 Union Avenue
Middlesex, NJ 08846


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