The Miami woman allegedly left for dead on her 23rd birthday by a roommate she found on Craigslist has woken up after a nearly month-long coma and has begun asking about the attack, her family told InsideEdition.com on Monday.
After 24 days in a coma, Danielle Jones finally woke up and began interacting with those around her, much to the delight of her loved ones keeping vigil by her bedside.
“She said ‘mommy, I missed you, mommy I just want you to be happy.’ She’s in this terrible condition and she’s thinking of my happiness,” Jones’ mother, Aimee Nikolov, told InsideEdition.com.
“I said, ‘of course I’m happy. You’re alive. You’re getting better. You survived this.'”
Jones was allegedly bludgeoned, strangled and stabbed by 35-year-old Byron Mitchell, who relatives said was staying at the apartment for about a week when he attacked her early February 14.
Mitchell has claimed that he was acting in self-defense and Jones tried to attack him with a knife. He remains in jail with no bond.
“She kept asking ‘is he in jail?’” Nikolov said. “Then she’d doze off, and wake and ask again ‘is he in jail?’ She wanted to see a picture of him. I showed her a picture of him, and said ‘see the orange jumpsuit he’s wearing? Yes, he’s in jail.’ She was very concerned about him.”
The young woman has a long road ahead of her, but her progress so far is good.
“I’ve been very scared for 24 days, not knowing what was going to happen,” Nikolov said.
Jones is sitting up in her hospital bed, giving thumbs up and smiling, a video taken by family showed. A GoFundMe account created by her cousin Kaitlin Cabot raised more than $35,000 to offset medical costs.
“At least I know now that she’s going to make it,” Nikolov said. “The doctor tells me now ‘yes, she will live.’ Now there’s a certainty. I don’t mind what’s coming as long as she’s alive and I get a second chance with her.”
Jones, who worked as a bartender for a catering business, will likely have her tracheotomy removed Tuesday as doctors believe she will be able to eat and breathe on her own.
She has also begun to undergo physical therapy and neuro rehabilitation as she works to regain her full memory of that gruesome night, her mother said.
“She gets frustrated with her short term memory,” Nikolov said. “She grimaces and cries, so she does have some memory. She’s said ‘Mom, I wish I was stronger, I wish I could remember more, I want to talk to detectives.’
“She asked ‘why, why did this happen? Remember for me.’ As days go by, though, she remembers more and more. It’s just a matter of time,” she continued.
“I know that my daughter’s very strong and she will make it and she will save others with her story. Her time here is not done.”