Nixa, Mo. survivor of crowbar attack shares story of hope for mental health

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NIXA, Mo. -- A Nixa woman was brutally beaten with a crowbar -- she says -- at the hands of her ex-boyfriend - Joshua Rainey. Court records say even Rainey told police he was surprised to hear the victim survived.

It was back in August when the attack happened. Deputies say Rainey first used the crow bar to break into his ex-girlfriend's mobile home, then beat her with it. She was able to call 911, and the whole thing was caught on audio recording.

"I can't believe it ever came to this," said Summer Daniels, Rainey's ex-girlfriend. "He raised his arm all the way back and I knew, I knew it was going be the one to kill me."

Daniels was hit some 14 times. In the moment, she says she didn't feel an ounce of pain. The adrenaline, she says, and help from God was enough to sustain her.

"The doctor said to me that last one hit was going to kill me because one more was all it was going to take because the fracture was so bad," Daniels explained.

She had internal bleeding on the brain, and a fractured skull, among other injuries. But Daniels says it's not the man accused she fears the most... Josh Rainey is charged with first degree domestic assault... but rather it's the man he became that night, and a system that she says is not set up to truly help people.

"It does not look like Josh, even in mugshot, it looks like, well especially in the doorway, it looked like something evil, his head was shaking, his eyes were shaking real fast.. it looked evil. I knew he had mentally snapped and I knew it wasn't him."

She says she doesn't hate him, just hopes he can get some help.

"What I'm trying to do for him, and when I say 'for him' I know people are going to think I'm crazy... thinking why would she help him? I loved this man. We have a baby together. It shocked me, I did not expect this to happen," she explained. "I never thought in a million years I was going to wake up to be murdered one day. He needs mental health treatment and Missouri has very, very poor mental health treatment for anyone."

Rainey's charge of first degree domestic assault carries a possible life sentence. Daniels says she's hopeful he does not get sentenced, but rather her case gets needed attention and fixes to the state's mental health system.

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