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Greenville home invasion survivor featured on A&E show

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

They were the most terrifying 14 minutes of her life.

More than a year after a home invasion rocked the Greenville community, the woman who survived it all is paying tribute to the first responders who saved her.

Gina Hathaway will be featured on A&E's "Panic 911." As the show's preview says, "for many victims the 9-1-1 dispatcher is the only link between life and death."

It's a scary reality; one that Hathaway knows all too well.

One June 21, 2012 Greenville police heard Hathaway's call for help and came running.

Dispatcher: He's in the living room?

Hathaway: No, bedroom.

Dispatcher: He's in your bedroom?

Hathaway: Yeah. Help me. Help me.

It was about 10 p.m. Gina was settling in for the night when two men broke through a back window and started ransacking her house. Last June she showed 9 on your side's Kristen Hunter how she locked herself in the bathroom and listened on in horror.

"If you see here I was pushing the door. They were pushing the door trying to get in and actually broke my door," she said

Dispatcher: I'm still here. I understand if you want to be quiet but I'm still here. Is he downstairs or upstairs?

Hathaway: {BANG, SCREAMS}

Dispatcher: Are you in there by yourself?

Hathaway: Yeah

Dispatcher: What happened, why'd you scream?

Hathaway: He's trying to hit the door in!

After 14 minutes Gina's terrifying ordeal was over. Greenville police caught brothers Maceo and Mark Gardner in the act. Six months later, a judge gave them both the maximum sentence. For Maceo, a habitual felon, it meant 28 years in prison.

Time marches on and that day will stay with Gina forever.

"I never was able to go back to my house and stay after that. Things that were familiar to me were unfamiliar then," she said.

But she refuses to live in fear.

"I decided early on that this was not going to control the rest of my life. That this was not going to be my destiny."

It was the actions of the first responders that ultimately may have saved Gina's life. Now she's sharing her story on national TV.

"It took a lot for someone who'd never known me to put their life on the line and come into my house to save me. I think that was one reason that I decided to go ahead with it. The other was that I felt like maybe there's something in it that will help someone else," she said.

Gina says she's not a victim, but rather a survivor.

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