Stacey Gwilym is a living, breathing miracle.
Gwilym was beaten, strangled and buried alive by her abusive fiancé, only to awake just in time to save herself. Today, she is alive to tell the heart-rending tale of the abuse she suffered, the agonizing time she spent buried in a grave, and her journey to recovery.
Speaking on "Good Morning Britain," Gwilym recounted the ugly fight she had with her bodybuilder boyfriend Keith Hughes when he beat her up and strangled her. The next thing she knew, she was waking up under dirt and a cover of shrubbery on a beach in Caswell Bay, South Wales, where the fight had ensued.
"It was like everything was in slow motion. All I could see were blurs of green and brown. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move. It was like I was paralyzed," Gwilym recounted.
"I tried to get up, but couldn't. I had to use my nails. That was all I could do. I tried to push but I didn't have the upper strength."
With Herculean strength, Gwilym managed to crawl out of the grave. But all strength was drained out of her body, and she collapsed near a golf club.
At the hospital, Gwilym was put in an induced coma for 26 days. Thought she is now well on the road to recovery, the effects of the traumatic attack still linger. She still has flashbacks, panic attacks and acutely remembers the painful incident. Gwilym leans on a stick for support when she walks.
Like most cases of abusive relationships, this incident was not an isolated one, but culminated after many other incidents of violence. In 2013, Hughes was sentenced to three and a half years for abusing her. Gwilym, who battled ovarian cancer in the time he was in jail, got back with him after he was released on parole because she still loved him.
The weekend before the most recent attack, Gwilym called off their relationship a second time after he kicked her in the stomach and stole money from her bank account. Hughes had called her in for a walk at the beach to talk things through, where the conversation turned sour.
Although Gwilym, in her own words, is "stronger than ever," she still lives in the fear of her attacker getting out on parole. Though Hughes was slammed with a life sentence for attempted murder, he is eligible for parole in eight and a half years.