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Las Vegas pastor stabbed 21 times recovering after treatment at UMC

“During the struggle, when I was being attacked, God did tell me, ‘You’re going through some stuff right now, but you’re not going to die tonight.'”

Las Vegas Pastor Russ Smethers is still alive after being stabbed 21 times in March. On Tuesday, the city of Las Vegas honored first responders for saving his life.

Smethers said someone attacked him inside his own home, stabbing him 21 times with a butcher knife. He got away and ran down the street. His wife called 911 and crews rushed him to UMC’s trauma center.

Smethers had two skull fractures, a collapsed lung and a misaligned jaw.

After Tuesday’s recognition ceremony, Smethers said he hopes his story reminds people of just how important first responders are.

“People say, yeah, first responders are important, and that’s about all they say. There’s no meaning behind it. And I think all of us need to be reminded every once in a while exactly how important those first responders are.”

Smethers said he’s lucky to be alive, and that’s why he always keeps a positive attitude about the experience. He said he wants his story to help people through their own hardships.

And as for his attacker, Smethers said he’s already been forgiven.

“I said I forgave him that night. I forgave him later in the trauma center. I didn’t forgive him for him. I forgave him for me. That needed to be broken, that leash to keep me from moving forward in my own life and my families life. You need to honestly and sincerely forgive.”

Smethers is going through physical therapy for his thumb that was nearly lost in the attack.

Details about his attacker were not immediately available. 

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