She walked herself to the trauma room, cradling her limp, lifeless arm, and collapsed in cardiac arrest. She endured two weeks in the intensive care unit, eight hours of surgery, an airway tube called a trach because he also stabbed her neck, and countless days of physical and occupational therapy. Miraculously, she survived, but she is unable to work and has not regained normal function in her left arm. Emotionally, she’s the strongest person I know. I cannot put into words how close my mom and I are. We’re best friends.
During her recovery, I was scared and angry and sad. But it didn’t truly hit me until I was faced with returning to work in the ER. It opened my eyes to the possibility of an attack happening at our hospital. And, for the first time, I was scared at work.
Soon after, I received an institution-wide email from our CEO, Dr. Steven J. Corwin, and our COO, Dr. Laura Forese, about plans to start a Zero Workplace Harm initiative to prioritize employee safety. I reached out to them; they are two people whom I look up to very much. I wasn’t sure if they had heard about my mom’s story, but I wanted to tell them how excited I was about the initiative and discuss some ideas I had. Dr. Forese replied immediately and said she’d love to meet with me. It was great to know that, as an employee, my concerns were heard. She was very open, supportive, and comforting — she even wrote a letter to my mom!