KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The fact that Buffi McBride can tell us her own story is incredible in itself. One week after the 51-year-old was stabbed half a dozen times and set on fire, she’s recovering at home surrounded by family.
The grisly attack, carried out in the same room where Buffi has slept for years, was allegedly perpetrated by her own daughter’s drug-fueled rage.
“She was just somebody that she wasn’t,” said McBride. “She was a totally different person.”
Speaking to FOX 17 from the front stoop of her home in Kalamazoo Township, McBride recalls driving to the home of her daughter’s friend last Friday, initially to drop off cigarettes. But her daughter, identified since as Alexis VanDusen, climbed in the car with her own young child and told her mom to drive. McBride said VanDusen seemed frazzled, confused and angry.
“I’m trying to find out, what’s going on with her,” she said. “Her eyes turned black, and she has these hazel eyes…”
McBride says her daughter later admitted to her that she was under the influence of methamphetamine. Twice that night before things turned violent, police were called on VanDusen, once at a Speedway on their way home and again once they got there. VanDusen never admitted to police she was on drugs. It wasn’t until later, in the early morning hours of Friday, that she snapped, allegedly tackling her mother to the ground, trying to set fire to her face and hair, and grabbing a knife and stabbing her in the body, head, arms and legs.
“I thought I was going to die; I couldn’t breathe,” said McBride through tears. “It wasn’t Alexis. She was stronger and faster than I ever thought she could ever be. This meth is not a joke; it’s hard on people.”
McBride was able to stay alive long enough for help to arrive. She said VanDusen called 911 only accidentally, apparently meaning instead to dial the 211 help line for good and housing assistance.
“I’m in the background telling the officer that’s on the phone, ‘I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding, help me,’ and I heard her say, ‘I’m sending somebody to your house,’” said McBride. “I prayed. I prayed God would send somebody to help me and He did.”
Police arrived and arrested VanDusen while McBride was transported to the hospital. She said over the next few days she learned more about her attack and injuries from family, doctors and nurses. One of the stab wounds — or a piece of her own broken rib, doctors still aren’t sure — punctured her lung.
“It’s painful; I’m still in a lot of pain,” she said. “It’s hard. I stay right in the basement and that’s where it happened. I look at that spot every night, every day. I walks past it; I walk over it.”
But the hardest part of it all is knowing that it was her own daughter that did it. VanDusen was arraigned this week on charges of assault with intent to murder and unlawful imprisonment, charges that could land her in jail for life. McBride was candid in saying she still hasn’t arrived at her final feelings on the whole thing, but she’s getting there.
“I always love my kids, no matter what they’ve done to me,” she said, pausing to collect herself. “I love her. I hate what she did to me. I hope she gets the help she needs.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with McBride’s medical expenses. You can make a donation at this page.