19-year-old stabbing victim's taxi angel
"RESILIIENT" encapsulates Alexis Felstein, the survivor of a brutal, unprovoked attack that saw her stabbed eight times.
The teenager was walking home in Lismore when she was set upon by a man she had never met before.
Her guardian angel that night was a taxi driver, who intervened to save her life. The pair are still friends two years later.
An impending move to Queensland to start a nursing degree marks an exciting new chapter for Alexis, who is now 19.
Carrying the scars inside and out of that terrifying night, the teenager doesn't let the horrific stabbing consume her life.
Alexis said memories of the attack weren't "triggered" when she walked past the scene of the crime, Lismore City Hall. Instead, she channels her emotions into ensuring her personal safety - especially when going out at night.
"Collected" and "strong" are how Claire Diamond described Alexis, a school friend, after the ordeal.
"She handled it better than anyone involved, like all of her family and friends," Claire said.
As the self-proclaimed "mum friend", Claire is proud Alexis could bounce back so quickly and into a new start at university next year.
Her eagerness to turn a new page in life was elevated by her attacker, Joseph Carter, being sentenced to 20 years behind bars last Friday.
She shared her relief with the man who saved her life, taxi driver Brett Fuller, who intervened and rushed to help Alexis during the attack.
He was heartened to hear the former Kadina High School student feeling so upbeat on the phone.
"I was so excited to hear the excitement in her voice," Mr Fuller said.
This was in contrast to the young woman he helped save on November 24, 2014.
Alexis recalled the moment Carter ran at her on that terrifying night as she was walking home - a rare occasion for the young woman who said she usually got a lift.
Just before being stabbed, Alexis said she "got a weird vibe" about the man, so she took off her earphones and hurried towards the road and passing cars. Carter, however, grabbed her and pinned her down before help arrived.
She remembers when he first stabbed her, but the rest of the assault is a blur until she was in the car with Mr Fuller.
As Alexis lay in the back of the taxi, she asked her rescuer: "Am I going to die?"
Reassuring her, Mr Fuller answered calmly: "No, sweetie, you're going to be fine. We've got help on the way."
Mr Fuller saw a sense of relief wash over Alexis as her body relaxed at his words.
After the attack, Mr Fuller said he was concerned making contact with Alexis might remind her of the ordeal she'd been through.
However, he finally did and the pair have formed a strong bond.- to the point they're planning an early Christmas dinner together.