Emily O'Banion returns to work

Monday, August 29th 2005, 9:58 am
By: News On 6

The Oologah paramedic, who was stabbed on the job four months ago, went back to work Monday. Emily O'Banion has shown remarkable strength in her comeback from fighting off man who had both a knife and a gun, who wanted morphine.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright has O’Banion’s story of survival. Emily O'Banion looks so vibrant and alive as she gets back to work for the Oologah-Talala ambulance service that it's hard to imagine just four months ago, she was as close to dead as a person can get without dying.

"There's one patient in 100 that's really bad that you can do something for and they're up and walking around and you think, they almost died. And, now people are telling me, you almost died and I did, I almost died.” Lori Fullbright: “It's weird?” Emily O’Bannon: “It's weird, very weird."

Emily was standing in the ambulance barn, her partner already asleep inside, when she heard a noise, then saw a man she knew well as a morphine addict. "I was so off-guard that just in that freeze for a moment, he was able to come up behind me and stab me right here." Emily told Allen Weddle that he could have all the morphine he wanted, but when he showed her a gun and threatened to kill her partner, Emily started fighting, before it was over, he'd stabbed her six times. She finally collapsed and went into a seizure, the sound of her foot involuntarily kicking a wall is what woke up her partner and likely saved her life.

She was in the hospital for a month, part of that time in a coma and on a ventilator. Then, she endured three months of physical, occupational and speech therapy. She has no kind thoughts for the man who nearly took her away from her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. "I would love for him to sit in prison and be mistreated everyday. I want him to see me on TV and know I'm fine and I've gone on and for him to just sit there and be miserable."

O'Banion is more cautious now, but not coming back to work, never entered her mind. It's a job she loves and to quit, would let evil win. Emily says it was strange standing in the ambulance bay for the first time Monday, but not as strange as seeing her attacker for the first time. She faced him in court last week when she testified against him. He's charged with robbery with a weapon, burglary and assault and battery with a deadly weapon.