Early last week, Rachel Poole, the Texas wife of an overseas soldier anticipating the birth of their daughter, posted on her Facebook page: “10 days and counting....... Can not wait until Izzy gets here!!!!! These past six months have gone so slowly. The end is finally in sight. Anxious for my family to be together!!!”
Today, Poole’s family is reunited, but the last week has been nothing like planned.
On Wednesday, Poole, 31, was on the phone with her husband when a man armed with a knife broke into their El Paso home. Poole was stabbed several times in the face and body.
Police said Poole screamed as her husband listened helplessly.
After the attacker fled, Poole called 911 and was taken to a local hospital. She was blind in one eye, and police said she was in critical condition.
Her baby, which police said was unharmed after the attack, was delivered by caesarean section Friday.
Doctors told Poole that she could not hold her newborn child until she recovered.
On Monday, five days after the stabbing, Poole held Isabella for the first time. A photo shows Poole, one eye bruised with a gash across her forehead, holding the infant wrapped in a striped blanket.
“I think the recovery is going pretty well, we have an amazingly strong daughter who is absolutely gorgeous,” Poole told El Paso TV station KFOX14. “It means the world, just being able to see her and know that, through everything, she’s doing just fine.”
According to the Facebook page of her husband, Army Pvt. Justin Poole, Isabella was sick after she was born because of medication she was given.
Ed Lightbourn, public affairs specialist at University Medical Center of El Paso, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that both Rachel and Isabella Poole were in stable condition.
Poole and her family have received an outpouring of support from around the world. A fund started by a friend of Justin Poole set out to raise $5,000, and as of Tuesday had raised more than $22,000.
During the stabbing, Poole apparently recognized her attacker and shouted his name aloud during the call, according to an affidavit released to KFOX14.
Ft. Bliss Military Police arrested Pvt. Corey Bernard Moss, 19, at the Army base near El Paso in connection with the stabbing, military officials said.
Moss was handed over to El Paso police, a Ft. Bliss spokesman said. He was being held at the El Paso County Detention Facility and is charged with attempted capital murder.
Poole told authorities that she believed Moss owed her husband money for a vehicle repair, police said.
Poole is still in the hospital, and has begun physical therapy.
“My wife is my wife til I’m no longer breathing. No man can change that and though I was not here to protect her this time it will never happen again that’s my word,” Pvt. Poole posted on Facebook after the attack.