After five difficult years of marriage, Joddi left her husband, Jason, took their 5-year-old daughter, Taylor, and moved in with her mother. In June 2005, after bringing Taylor home, Jason and Joddi got into a heated argument that took a tragic turn.
As Joddi turned to go inside her house, her estranged husband stabbed her in the chest with a four-inch hunting knife. The knife punctured her heart. "It was so fast that I couldn't even say 'stop,'" she says. "I couldn't put my arms in front of me. I couldn't do anything."
Joddi ran inside, called 911 and waited for paramedics to arrive as she lay on the floor, bleeding heavily. "I didn't feel anything," she says. "I felt very warm—just like a lot of blood rushing."
Once she was inside an ambulance, Joddi says she felt like she couldn't breathe, but stayed awake during the entire ride and during painful procedures at the hospital. "If I went to sleep, I didn't think I'd wake up," she says. "My babies kept me awake."
Dr. David Zich, professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, says the fact that Joddi survived is amazing. "Nobody would describe you as lucky because you got stabbed in the heart, and I'm very sorry that happened, but it was a miracle," he says. "You had six ways you could have died."
Joddi's husband was convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault and is currently serving 20 years in prison.