LaTonya Taylor was told she may never walk or speak again after her estranged husband shot her in the face and chest in April of last year. "The bullet went through my heart and though my spine," she said. "They didn't think I would be able to walk, talk or feed myself." Now, she is grateful to have regained both abilities.
Taylor, 33, was shot by Nathan Holden inside her parents' North Carolina home. After the gun jammed, he proceeded to beat her with the butt of the pistol, police said. Tragically, her parents, Anglia and Sylvester Taylor, were both shot and killed during the incident.
Her three children were fortunately unharmed, having hidden in a closet. "I was just scared, mostly for my kids," Taylor said. "I was just trying to protect them."
After waking up from a week-long coma, Taylor learned that her parents were dead. She says she was determined to get better so that she could go to their funeral. Part of her healing process has been sharing memories of her parents with her two brothers, who have rallied to support their sister.
Three months prior to the shooting Taylor had obtained a protective order against Holden, who she said had beaten her and the children in the past. The order also alleged he had told Taylor's brother that he planned to kill her, their children, and then himself. After she moved in with her parents, Holden also repeatedly called and harrassed Taylor and threatened to take the kids.
Holden's trial begins in November, and he could face the death penalty if convicted. Taylor's family acknowledges re-living their loss will be difficult, but they plan on being there every step of the way.
"My dad wasn't the type of man to shrink back from anything or anyone," Marktontio, Taylor's brother said. "I know he would want us to face this with courage."
Taylor also wants to remain strong for her children. "I miss my parents every single day," she said. "But it's my children I'm fighting for."