Ashley Solesbee says she's alive because of two reasons: God and Wesley Spires.
“He raced me into the ER and refused to be seen until they were taking care of me. He's my hero,” Ashley says.
Friday night was supposed to be special. “It was their actual first, first date. She was so excited, she got new makeup,” Ashley's mom Lisa says.
And it started that way: dinner at Ashley's favorite restaurant, ice skating, and then…
“We weren't ready to end the night, but we weren't ready to meet each other's parents, so the Riverwalk sounded great and it was beautiful,” Ashley says.
Then the unthinkable happened. The couple was beaten with an aluminum bat or pipe on Riverwalk. Wesley managed to drive them to the hospital. Ashley was beaten so severely that she's not showing her face: Not because she's embarrassed, but to be sensitive to the small children she teaches.
“You walk in there and no parent should have to see their child like that,” Lisa says. “It looked like somebody grabbed her feet, turned her upside down, and dipped her into a can of red paint.”
For Wesley, it was even worse. Still, both families say anger isn't the answer.
“It's very important to me that the community not be angry, don't be angry, if you are, put that anger into prayer,” Ashley says. “Father forgive them, they know now what they've done,” her mother says.
And Ashley…she wants to see those men again. “I think I want to sit with them, face to face, to talk to them and let them know they don't have to continue with this life, they can move forward. I don't know what circumstances they come from, but whatever circumstances they do, there are people out there that will love them,” Ashley says.
And, she also has words for Wesley. “I want Wesley to know I'm waiting, I want to see him, I'm waiting on him,” she says.
Waiting with love and prayers…