While their nine and twelve-year-old children played in the basement of their home, Lisette's husband of twenty-one years walked into the bedroom, declared his love for her and then shot her in the chest. Running past and away from him, he continued shooting. As she ran from the house, trying to scream to the children to get out and call 911, he shot her in the back, then turned the gun on himself. Their daughter witnessed this.
Lisette was attempting to leave the marriage after years of verbal and psychological abuse and had planned to move out that week. By the grace of God, she survived, and her children Natalie and Graham survived.
During the emergency surgery, she lost almost 3 liters of blood, her blood pressure plummeted and the surgeons worked desperately to save her. Because of the extensive bleeding, a bullet was left in her liver so that she could be stabilized. I was there that night as her children had to be told their father had died and their mother might too.
As a result of the shooting, she is now preparing to undergo her fourth surgery, scheduled for the end of June. She needs help with the medical and household expenses as she takes unpaid time off during her hospitalization and recovery, 4-6 weeks post discharge provided all goes well. Lisette is the sole financial provider for her and her two children and has been vigilant to be sure they have received therapy and guidance to move through their trauma.
She has been a tireless advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence, accompanying and advocating for them during the ER process, working with trauma survivors to connect them with resources to navigate PTSD, and working with state and national legislators to enact laws to reduce homicide and provide greater measures of safety for women experiencing intimate partner violence.
She has been recognized for her commitment to domestic violence survivors and these are just a few of the awards she has received:
Citizen of the Year/National Association of Social Workers Virginia
Cole Sydnor Trauma Survivors Shining Knight Giving Back/VCU Medical Center
Action, Honor, Hope/Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
Project Empower/VCU Medical Center Injury and Violence Prevention Program
For those who know Lisette, that have been full circle since the shooting, we love this lady and we hope you will help her in her time of need.