'I was sure I was going to die,' Moncton nurse says of attack
Published Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:02PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, June 13, 2019 7:40AM ADT
A nurse who was attacked at Moncton's Dr. Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital Centre in March has broken her silence.
It comes after a second assault on a nurse was reported Tuesday at the same hospital.
It's been three months since Natasha Poirier was attacked, but it's a memory that replays in her mind every day.
“I was sure I was going to die and I didn't have the courage to scream anymore,” recalled Poirier.
Sunglasses protect her eyes; she's sensitive to the light after the concussion she suffered.
Poirier says she was working as a nurse on March 11 when she was approached by the husband of a patient who was angry because his wife was moved to another room inside the hospital.
“I said, ‘Just so I understand, your wife is in front of the nursing station for closer observation?’ he said, ‘Yes,’ and then he leaned like this and he said, ‘I’m giving you three seconds to make a decision.’”
Poirier says that's when the attack began, and lasted for almost 12 minutes before a co-worker came to her rescue.
She suffered a black eye, fractured nose, and a brain contusion.
“I was making a meal about three weeks post-incident and it took me eight hours,” Poirier said.
Between going to the psychologist, physio, chiro, speech and massage therapy, she says it's been a full-time job.
“My life has been affected in every facet,” Poirier said. “My soul, my being, emotionally, psychologically, physically. Everything has been attacked,” Poirier said.
On Tuesday, a 15-year-old boy was arrested after another nurse at the same hospital was assaulted. The teen has been ordered to undergo a 30-day psychiatric examination.
“Violence in the workplace needs to be reported, no matter how serious the offence or the verbal abuse is,” Poirier said.
Last week, the New Brunswick Nurses Union held a rally outside the Moncton Courthouse to raise awareness of violence in the workplace and to show their solidarity with Poirier.
Bruce Randolph Van Horlick, 69, appeared that day at the courthouse and is charged with assault causing bodily harm in the case involving Poirier.
Poirier left the courthouse that day without a word, but Wednesday, she says it was important to break her silence.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.