Imagine being married for almost 30 years, raising children and building a life together, only to then have your husband organise to have you killed.
It sounds like something out of a murder mystery, but unfortunately and shockingly it is real life for 57-year-old Nancy Shore who says forgives the man who left her with one eye and a bullet in her lung.
According to a report by the BBC, Frank Howard and Nancy married in 1983 and seemed like any typical happy couple, cheering their children from the sidelines at soccer games and volunteering much of their time to the church.
But for years the man Nancy thought she knew and loved was having an affair and paying a gang of criminals to murder her.
The mother-of-three’s life was turned upside down when in August of 2012 she came face to face with a hitman, who demanded her handbag and pulled a gun to her head.
Nancy was shot, the bullet travelling through her head and lodging in her right lung where it remains to this day.
As if that wasn’t traumatic enough, the events proceeding left Nancy absolutely distraught as the affair was revealed and later the truth of her husband and his devious and cruel plans to have her killed came to light.
“It was heartbreaking,” Nancy explained. “I can remember even after an eye surgery just weeping and weeping and my mother had to come in and say, ‘stop, you can’t cry like that, your eye has got to heal,’ and ‘you can’t be letting your head hang down like that’.”
After further investigations it was found Frank had also embezzled an estimated US$30 million (AU$40 million, £22 million) from one of his clients and was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 30 years.
Now you’d think Nancy would absolutely never forgive the man who turned his back on their marriage and organised her murder, but surprisingly that isn’t the case.
“I have forgiven him,” she explained, “the Bible says that if we don’t forgive those who have harmed us then we are unable to be forgiven and I couldn’t afford not to forgive him because I couldn’t live with bitterness”.
It seems unbelievable that someone could forgive a loved one for doing such a thing when normally a cheating scandal at least puts up a wall between a formally happily married couple.
And while Nancy hasn’t spoken to Frank since he was sentenced to prison, it is clear she has a heart of gold to muster up the courage to even say she has forgiven him, when she could very well be dead right now.
However, questions do still remain on the mother’s mind as to why he would do such a thing, with the only explanation being that he didn’t think Nancy would file for a divorce, of which has now been done.
But it seems the numerous operations to rebuild her face and eye socket have only made this remarkable woman stronger as he moves on with life, happy and grateful for the life she was given.
“I’m able to be thankful once again for how God has saved my life and the healing that’s happening in my children’s lives, it’s awesome,” she said. “I’m excruciatingly happy.”