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CBS2 Exclusive: Nurse Shot By Ex-Boyfriend With Shotgun Recovering After Near-Death Experience

MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) – An Orange County woman nearly shot to death by her ex-boyfriend is finally home recovering and speaking out after the frightening ordeal.

Her steps are slow, but the fact that Mission Viejo nurse Nicole Rabb is walking at all three weeks after being shot by her ex-boyfriend is an inspiration to all who know her.

Last month as Rabb, 28, was headed to work at St. Joseph Hospital, she was surprised by her former boyfriend, Patrick French, who allegedly opened fire with a shotgun. Rabb was hit in her pelvis, abdomen, legs and arms.

Bleeding and wedged up against a wall, she managed to pull her phone from the pocket of her scrubs and call 911 as soon as French drove away.

"At the end, when he shot me in the leg, I thought for sure he would shoot me in the face. And I just didn't want my mom to have to identify my body – that was what really killed me. I didn't want her to have to do that or my dad," she said.

Medics from Orange Fire who responded to the scene quickly went into battle mode. Rabb remembers two in particular who had seen trauma like hers in the military.

Nicole Rabb
Nicole Rabb is walking three weeks after being shot by her ex-boyfriend. (credit: CBS)

She's also grateful for the police who guarded her hospital room door. The suspect was eventually found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"I don't know how to say thank you to them. They saved my life," she said.

A team of surgeons at UCI Medical Center operated on all of Rabb's wounds and did something she didn't think was possible: Saved her hand.

"I was prepared to wake up to have a bionic arm and to work as a nurse with a bionic arm. I was really surprised to wake up with my hand," she said.

Rabb came home from the hospital on March 30. She said she can't wait to get back to work, and she has no regrets about filing the restraining order against her ex, despite all she has been through.

"You have to do it and once I did it, it was like everything lifted. Everything," she said.

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