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Soon after Cristin got into the truck to go to what she thought was a landscaping job, she had a bad feeling. The driver’s demeanor was erratic, and he was drinking.
“I kept asking him to let me out of the truck, but he kept refusing,” she recalls. “He just kept getting more angry and angry. He was saying things that made me really uneasy. I was afraid he was going to kill me.”
When the driver grabbed the back of Cristin’s head, she grabbed the keys, jumped out of the truck and ran away and tried to hide.
After her kidnapper stopped pursuing her, Cristin tried to climb up the steep, muddy terrain along the mountain road. Her foot slipped and she fell on top of a tree limb. The limb impaled her face, entering through her chin and protruding under her eye. Cristin had to break the branch and push into the mud to free her face from the tree. Her eye socket and cheekbone were shattered.
“I got away, but I have these scars as a daily reminder of the nightmare I went through,” Cristin says. “I can’t stand looking at myself in the mirror. It makes me feel angry and depressed. I don’t see me. It’s someone else. It’s horrifying to me.”
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon explains that doctors had to put a plate in Cristin’s cheekbone to restore the integrity of the bone, and the scar has healed somewhat depressed.
The Doctors commend Cristin for her courage in remaining calm and thinking on her feet in order to survive the terrifying ordeal. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork tells Cristin that plastic surgeon Dr. Kathleen Waldorf has agreed to perform surgery to help reduce the appearance of her scars in the hope it also could help her heal emotionally.
Self-defense expert Jennifer Cassetta joins The Doctors to demonstrate methods you can use to fight off an assailant:
• If you are feeling scared and vulnerable, fake confident body language in order to look like less of a target: Walk with shoulders back and head high. Make eye contact with those around you.
• If possible, send a secret text to someone you have a prior agreement with. Set up a secret code word in advance that indicates you are in danger.
• If choked, drop your chin to your chest to open your trachea and make it easier to breathe.
• If attacked in a car, use the keys to attack the three most effective targets: eyes, throat and groin.
• Use your legs to kick at the knees and groin.
“Most importantly, don’t stop fighting until you can get away safely,” Jennifer says.
Here are the ABC's of effective self-defense, according to the United Martial Arts Centers.
- Awareness: Always be aware of your surroundings and be aware of your inner voice or gut instinct.
- Boundaries: Never let an unknown person within two feet of you.
- Combat: Keep fighting simple: Use basic front kicks, palm strikes and knee strikes to target the eyes, nose, throat and groin areas.
To help with Cristin's medical expenses, visit her GoFundMe page.