Psych nurse attacked by patient

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208 Posts

The nurse is still in an induced coma :o and apparently has had renal failure and was on dialysis. There was a snippet on the news saying she had planned to leave her job just days before the attack. Her sister was on the news.

The ANF (WA branch) has set up a fund for her.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Dreadful, dreadful business!!! Sorry but I have NO sympathy OR empathy for her attacker and hope he gets seven kinds of **** kicked out of him while in prison. I hope they treat him like they do paedophiles.

It still has not even been mentioned over here - can you west Aussies keep us posted - please????

Grace Oz

1,294 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/HH/Radiology-Now Retired.

There was an article in the paper here, Adelaide, recently. Saying pretty much what Barb has posted.

It's a total tragedy. From reading the article, it's not looking too promising. Still, I never say.... never. You just never know. We can only hope & pray for her.

Perhaps the collective prayers, thoughts, putting it out there to the universe, by all of us, may just help at least a little.

As Gwenith says, can you West Aussies keep us posted please? Much appreciated.



Farkinott, RN

581 Posts

Specializes in Renal, Haemo and Peritoneal.

i too have a family member with a serious mental illness (younger brother with chronic schizophrenia). he has been detained as an involuntary patient for over nine months now with no sign of improvemnt in his condition. i agree that in a lot of cases the idea of "normalisation" in the community instead of residency in a mental health facility is a pile of crap.

my brother doesn't want to be an inpatient but i live too far away to be of any real support other than phone calls to my mother who has to deal with him on a regular basis. i love my brother but i know he is best left locked up at this stage.

i am disturbed that an assault of this kind can occur in a facility where mental health patients are no doubt at their most dangerous. i think that pushing for the upgrading of aussalt charges "against a public officer" will not solve the problem (particularly with mentally ill people) but it may have an impact on the rest of the public who elect to subject nurses (and other health workers) to unwarranted assaults both verbal and physical.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I was angry when I wrote the previous statement because I doubt if this person was truly mentally ill. By the accounts in the paper I had the impression he did not have a known psych illness. I am sorry but all too often I hear excuses for bad behaviour toward hospital staff. It is not acceptable - it is never acceptable and that is why I hope if he goes to prison the other prisoners will treat him badly.


2 Posts

The latest edition of The Western Nurse (April 2004) has extensive coverage of the aftermath of the attack on Debbie Freeman.

'Mental Health Nurses respond to brutal attack on colleague', and 'Swan Nurses still at risk' are the two main articles.

For those who aren't ANF(WA) members, a PDF version of the magazine should be on the Web site in the next few days.


David Cohen

Media officer,


gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Thank-you so much David we here on the East coast appreciate the update. Send our sincere condolances and wishes for the best to Debbie and her family. This tragedy hurts us all.


208 Posts

I was wondering how she was. I have been travelling around Europe for the last 4 weeks now and have been thinking of her.

I start work in UK in May, which should do wonders for the credit card which is currently not in good shape :o


208 Posts

Well it's great news!!

Spoke to mum today and this young lady is now married. Not sure when she got well, discharged, married ect. Mum just said she forgot to tell me before.

She spent time in rehabalitation and was also given some money (not sure what it comes under) by McGinty. She still has the right to sue the governement.

Isn't that the best news you have heard this week!

I am so happy she is okey.

I tried to find an article on the net to post but couldn't find one.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Brilliant news Barb - There was some posts here that she did recover fully. Absolutley marvellous!!!

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