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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – 15-year-old Isabela Perdomo is recalling the events of September 10th, when on the bay by the MAST High School at FIU she and fellow honor student, 16-year-old James Critz, were savagely attacked.

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Both were hospitalized in critical condition.

“Out of nowhere we were both attacked,” she said. “I think I went straight into survival mode at that point.”

A man who appears in a police sketch to be Hispanic, maybe 20 years old, laid into Isabela and James with what is thought to have been a club-like tree limb.

“That was probably the scariest moment of my life,” said Elizabeth Perdomo, Isabella’s mother, at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

She did not know if her daughter or James would survive.

“The ICU nurses and doctors could not tell me if she was going to be OK or not. I asked several times and they said that they couldn’t be sure,” the mother said.

“I had two hits, here and here,” Isabela said, pointing to her forehead.

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She also suffered arm fractures, hearing loss and vision loss. She and her classmate both suffered fractured skulls and other serious injuries.

Isabela believes from what little she can remember of what her attacker said it was an aborted rape attempt.

“I can’t believe that this happened, to my own child. This guy is out there, and it could happen to someone else,” said Elizabeth Perdomo.

The 15-year-old thought she was at death’s door.

“My darkest moment was probably during the attack, and I was thinking, OK, let me try not to die,” Isabela said.

She and her friend managed to survive, and now?

“I want to catch him. I want to catch him, and from there I want to get past it,” Isabela said.

She will first have to get past recurring flashbacks and nightmares.

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Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.