SARASOTA - Alyssa Blasing suffered traumatic brain injuries after she was shot twice and beaten in the head with a hammer in a robbery.

"I was never even expected to get out of the bed again so I feel pretty blessed that I’m on my own two feet again,” said Blasing.

Encompass Health, a rehabilitation hospital on the Suncoast, threw Blasing a beach bash Friday to celebrate her miraculous recovery. Blasing spoke to a crowd of friends and medical staff not as a victim but as a survivor.

"I wasn’t even given 24 hours to live," she said. "They told my mom just to stay by my bedside that I would likely pass.”

Blasing and her mother never lost hope. Now 11 years later Blasing has been living life to the fullest. "It’s just amazing to even be here and making memories that’s what it’s all about, making memories,” Blasing said. 

One of those memories is meeting Winter the Dolphin at the Clearwater Aquarium for her birthday. Though the spotlight was on Blasing she says the true heroes are the men and women who helped save her life that fateful day.

"For me it’s more about honoring them because they are the true heroes,” she said.

Blasing hopes to use her story to inspire others who are survivors of violent attacks to live for tomorrow and take advantage of their second chance at life.