Yolanda Silvera has fought 10 years for this exact day. Her story is almost unimaginable. Not only did no one expect Silvera to walk or talk, no one -- not even her doctors -- expected her to live.
In July 2006 Silvera became the last victim of Newark serial killer Noah Cuebas, who is serving life in prison for the attack. He has since confessed to killing at least two teenagers in New Jersey in the years before that summer night when he targeted Silvera and her then-boyfriend.
Retired East Orange police detective Joseph Juliano interviewed Cuebas after his arrest and says he copped to many other murders during his interrogation.
Yolanda nearly became a part of that grim roster. She spent the following six months in a coma, and said she overheard her family deciding whether or not to keep her on life support.
After years of physical therapy to learn how to walk and talk again, Yolanda took her final steps in a long and remarkable recovery on Thursday, leaving the assisted-care facility where she has spent the last 10 years. She moved into the first apartment of her own.
One thing Yolanda said kept her going the whole time was her son. For the last 10 years he has only been able to visit her at the Sinai Medical Center but now they get to live together. She says she's hopeful about what the future holds.