A 13-year-old girl is slowly recovering after she was violently attacked by a man while walking to her school bus in Fort Worth.
It happened back in April and a suspect was finally arrested last week. Now, her family is showing gratitude for the people who helped save her life, including the school bus driver who scared off the attacker and called 911.
It does not take long to recognize Dorika Wimana is a fighter.
"She's very, very special," Teresa Dover said.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Dover could see that after just one year of driving Dorika to and from school. She said other kids sometimes picked on her.
"When they messed with her, she said 'I got this' and I knew she had it," Dover said.
But Dover never imagined the strength Dorika would need the day she stumbled to her school bus door covered in blood.
"I would like to share with you what happened that morning," Dover said to Dorika's father Twizere Buhinja.
The pair met face-to-face Monday night, reliving the morning when police said 35-year-old Terry Wayne King II attacked Dorika as she was walking to her bus stop at Calmont and Laredo near the Las Vegas Trail.
Dorika's father recounted what she told him: "He needed some help, to take the bag, go with him. I said no, I'm going to school."
Police said King knocked Dorika to the ground and started choking her. They think he was scared off when the school bus pulled up.
Dorika managed to make it to the bus and Dover called 911. Then, she held the girl until the ambulance got there.
"When I looked into her eyes it was emptiness, there was no life there," Dover said. "I just held her like 'Lord don't let her go, please.'"
The family knows if the attack had gone on any longer, Dorika might not have made it.
"I say thank you for helping my daughter, for calling 911," Buhinja told Dover, and the two exchanged a big hug.
But three months later, Dorika is still in the hospital. She turned 13 in her hospital bed. Her lungs are damaged and she's waiting for a heart transplant.
It is hard to understand for a family that came to this country to escape civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"I was thinking, America you're going to be safe and you're going to be happy," Buhinja said. "But now I'm crying."
But Buhinja has a strong faith in God.
"I need prayer for everyone,” he said. "Everybody pray for my daughter. Pray for my family."
He has faith in his daughter's strength.
"By her fighting back, she saved her own life," Dover said. "She saved herself, she didn't want to give up."
And he has faith in the people by her side for the fight still to come.
Teresa Dover is set to be honored at a Fort Worth ISD school board meeting next month for getting Dorika help quickly. She said she's grateful but stressed it was Dorika's own strength and fight that saved her life.