BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - She survived a horrible attack only to be subjected to seemingly endless surgeries afterward, and the person who did this to her is still out there.
Tabitha Taylor's story of struggle and survival began on March 12, 2012 at a home on East Monarch in Baton Rouge. Taylor lived in the house with her three sons. That night in March almost four years ago, their home would go up in flames.
"Once we started looking at the house, the car, we realized this wasn't an accident. This was on purpose," said Taylor.
She and her kids lost everything that night except their lives. Having that, they pushed on, but things were about to get much, much worse.
As the morning of March 30, 2012 came around, Taylor was doing what she always did during the week, showing up to work in the 8100 block of Old Hammond Highway.
"I showed up to work and I was getting out. When I turned, I saw two guys coming from around the bushes, around the other side of the truck. One came and swung at me."
Again though, there were two guys, and the second did something much worse than just swing at her.
"During the attack, there was acid thrown into her face," said Baton Rouge Police Detective Walter Griffin. "She ingested it and it caused her significant damage to her body."
Aside from her right eye, which she can't see out of anymore, nothing is plainly noticeable. That's because all of her injuries are internal. Doctors said her lungs look like she's been smoking for 20 years. She had to have surgery on her vocal chords and learn how to eat and drink again.
Some of the surgeries she had to go through are far from ordinary. Like the one that removed her badly damaged esophagus.
"They pulled my stomach up and made my stomach act as part of my esophagus. I have a small stomach at the bottom and the stomach is
stretched up to a part they left in my throat."
She's had close to 20 surgeries now and there are more to come, for the rest of her life.
"Out of my 13 years of policing, I've never seen anything like this," said Detective Griffin. When you hear that from a seasoned investigator, you know how bad this really is.
"It's just unreal to me that someone can do something so vicious," said Taylor.
And it almost cost her her life. But she pushes on, even as detectives continue to work the case. Police say they have some strong leads, but they still need some help. Tabitha could certainly use that help about now.
Anyone with information concerning this crime, or any other crime, is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867. Remember, you can remain anonymous.