PENDLETON, Ore. –It's not often we have the opportunity to share stories like this--but if ever there was a reason to watch, a reason to believe anything is possible, this is it.
This is Karen's story.
Piece by piece, Karen Lange is putting her life back together, relearning how to live again.
KATU's Emily Sinovic and photojournalist Chelsea Scherier drove to Pendleton to meet Karen five months after she was attacked and seriously injured by a man in a park.
Not knowing what to expect, it was shocking, and thrilling to see her physical strength, hear her articulate thoughts, and witness a laughter that demonstrated a genuine appreciation for life.
"I’m almost halfway," Karen told Emily. "That’s what I tell myself. You’re going to get better. You’re going to be able to walk and not lose your balance. But I do have to remind myself of that. I tend to be kind of an impatient person."
Karen was walking on a trail near her home Aug. 9, 2013 during the day when police say 23-year-old Lukah Pobzeb Chang, who went by the name, Danny Wu, came up from behind and with one swift blow, crushed her skull with a metal pipe.
"I don’t have any memory of it ... I don't want to remember it," Karen said.
An officer found her lying in the brush 13 hours later, barely alive.
She spent 18 days in the ICU at OHSU and the following five months determined to recover from an attack that doctors say should've killed her.
Chang, a transient and U.S. Marine deserter, was eventually found and arrested several weeks later. He is also charged with the 2012 murder of Amyjane Brandhagen. Chang was supposed to plead guilty Friday but a delay means that won’t happen until Jan. 8
When Emily asked Karen whether she questions why she was targeted that afternoon, Karen answered, "I was spared, I was saved. So asking 'why?' seemed like the wrong question. It was more of a 'thank you' for saving me and helping me."
She went on to say, "I do feel like God never left me. He was right there."
Click play on the video above to watch the story.