If only the strong survive, there must be a picture of Carolyn Thomas in dictionary next to the word strength. The Waco resident knows first hand about survival and the permanent scars domestic violence can leave behind.
"He shot my mother in the abdomen and then took me into the living room and shot me at point blank range," said Carolyn Thomas, domestic violence survivor.
In the shooting Thomas lost her most of her face, only her left eye remained.
From a segment on Oprah, to an interview with Larry King, Thomas says she's blessed she lived to tell the world her story.
"There is a God and I am truly blessed and I just want to get the word out about domestic violence and let women know that love doesn't have to hurt," said Thomas.
Since the shooting, Thomas has been sharing her story of survival across the country. She's determined to help other domestic violence victims avoid a similar fate.
Thomas has had multiple reconstructive surgeries, all pro bono from a Houston surgical team, she calls the dream team.
Tuesday she made a special appearance at the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, to speak with future doctors, that one day might have to treat patients that are being abused.
"Most people think of physical, there's also emotional and spiritual and sexual abuse. So I just want to let them know the types of abuse," said Thomas.
Her words made an impact.
"Opportunities like this come very very seldom. So it's an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person and as a future physician," said David Galloway, medical student.
"It really drives home the importance of what we're going to be dealing with as physicians," said Sarah Fisher, medical student.
Thomas was only on campus for one day, but her story of courageousness, struggle and in the end survival, will live in the minds of these students forever.