A Georgia mother has lived with the scars from a vicious attack for more than two decades, but after transformative plastic surgery, she's regaining the confidence to take on the world.
Twenty-three years ago, Stephanie Schurman from Griffin, Georgia was brutally attacked in her home. She was raped and stabbed multiple times in the stomach, face and neck.
She only made it out alive by playing dead, she recalled.
"It was hard. It was a very traumatic time," said Schurman, who is now a mother of three, "but I've always been a fighter. I wasn't going to let it stop me."
Despite making a full recovery following the attack. Schurman was forced to face the events of the day every time she saw the scars on her face, for the next 23 years.
"Looking in the mirror every day, that's a constant reminder," Schurman told InsideEdition.com. "It's not fair for us, victims, to [relive] traumatic experiences."
With the help of Face Forward, a non-profit organization that helps victims of violent crimes gain access to reconstructive surgery, Schurman was featured on the show The Doctors, where a team of plastic surgeons were able to help her get the transformation she desperately wanted.
"I was so happy I wanted to do a flip," she said. "Can you imagine me doing a back flip?"
Doctors explained her left cheek was badly swollen with tumors and scar tissue that developed from the trauma. Because of the swelling, she couldn't even form a proper smile.
She also had deep scars all over her face and body.
But, Dr. David Alessi was able to remove some of the tumors to help the swelling on her cheek go down, as well as smooth out her scars using laser technology.
Despite having several sessions left with the doctor, Schurman said, "I wasn't able to smile in years. Now, because he did this surgery, I'm able to smile. I feel like I'm ready to tackle the whole world."
Schurman said she now feels confident enough to use her voice and fight for the rights of other victims.
For more transformation stories, check local TV listings or visit The Doctors online.