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NYC EMT stabbed eight times by unhinged patient in ambulance speaks out: ‘Thought I was going to die’

A New York City EMT stabbed eight times by an unhinged patient in the again of her ambulance practically a 12 months in the past nonetheless hasn’t returned to work – and is plagued by nightmares.

“I thought I was going to die,” Julia Fatum instructed The Post of the July 19 assault which left her hospitalized for every week and strolling with a cane for months afterward. 

It was a typical evening shift for Fatum, 26, till she responded to a 9 p.m. name a few man having coronary heart bother on the Upper West Side. 

Julia Fatum poses up against a tree in Central Park this week.
Julia Fatum is going public now to battle for higher protections for first responders.  Michael Nagle

She and her companion picked up Rudolph “Rudy” Garcia, a 48-year-old Bronx man, and headed to Mount Sinai Hospital. 

“We were a couple of blocks from the hospital,” she recalled in her first interview because the horrific assault. “He became agitated.”

The bald brute yelled “F–k you!” and pulled a kitchen knife from his sock, prosecutors mentioned at his arraignment.

Fatum, who was in the again of the ambulance, shouted to her companion who was driving.

The driver skidded to a halt and Fatum tried to escape via the again doorways.

“The lock was jammed,” she mentioned.

The 6-foot-1 Garcia – an ex-con whose rap sheet included two felony convictions for assaulting a cop — plunged the blade into Fatum’s left arm. 

Julia Fatum takes a mirror selfie in her EMT uniform
The aspiring doctor’s assistant has not been ready to return to work as an EMT because the July 19 assault. Facebook/Julia Fatum

“You stop feeling things physically and you just go into your mind,” Fatum, sitting on a park bench through the interview, mentioned quietly.

“It’s just, like, ‘Wow’ . . . I never thought it would happen to me, and now I think I’m going to die.

“Everything went black in my mind. I just couldn’t believe what was happening. It felt like a bad dream,” she mentioned. 

Garcia stabbed Fatum seven extra times – 5 times in her left leg, as soon as in the thumb, and on the left aspect of her chest, puncturing a lung.

Julia Fatum getting rushed into the hospital on a gurney after the July 19 stabbing
“I thought I was going to die,” Fatum instructed The Post of the July 19 assault. Robert Mecea

“I noticed that the knife dropped, and I rushed to stand up enough to reach the emergency latch,” she recalled. “Once it finally opened I threw myself out of the ambulance onto the ground.

“Then because we were [close to] the hospital all of my coworkers and the security from the hospital ran over to help,” she continued.

Graphic video footage of the aftermath of the stabbing reveals Fatum on the bottom screaming and sobbing, whereas first responders inform Garcia to “back off” and put his palms down. Garcia was held in the automobile till cops arrived and arrested him.

Julia Fatum laying on the ground outside of the ambulance where an unhinged patient has just stabbed her on July 19. There is blood on the door of the ambulance
Graphic video footage of the aftermath of the stabbing reveals Fatum on the bottom screaming and sobbing.

He was charged with second-degree tried homicide and assault with a weapon. He pleaded not responsible and is being held with out bail at Rikers Island.

Fatum underwent three surgical procedures in every week at Mt. Sinai.

Today, she nonetheless struggles with nerve injury in her left arm. The severed nerves “may never come back,” Fatum mentioned.

Julia Fatum laying in a hospital bed, with bandages covering the stab wounds in her left leg
Fatum underwent three surgical procedures in every week at Mt. Sinai following the vicious assault. Facebook/Julia Fatum

She additionally suffers from psychological trauma. 

“With something like this, of course you’re going to have lingering PTSD, nightmares. It’s definitely there.”

Fatum mentioned she’s heard of not less than 10 random assaults on different emergency employees in the Big Apple since her personal — and is going public now to battle for higher protections for first responders. 

“Not all the cases of violence against [EMTs] get as much attention because mine was more severe than a lot of them, but it happens every day – from being spit on to being punched to being stabbed,” she defined. “It makes me angry.”

Julia Fatum waving to onlookers as she is rolled out of Mount Sinai in a wheelchair a week after the July 19 attack.
The severed nerves in her left arm “may never come back,” Fatum mentioned. ABC

In 2023, there have been 214 assaults on FDNY EMTs — up a disturbing 20% from the 179 in 2022.

The figures, nevertheless, don’t characterize assaults on EMS employees employed by hospitals.

“We can’t stop someone from walking up and randomly punching someone in the face, but there are certain things that we could change,” mentioned Fatum, who remains to be employed by Mt. Sinai and NYU Hospitals, that are a part of the town’s 911 system.

Julia Fatum poses on a bench at Central Park
“Not all the cases of violence against [EMTs] get as much attention because mine was more severe than a lot of them, but it happens every day,” Fatum mentioned. Michael Nagle

Fatum has launched an online petition calling for six measures to enhance security for emergency medical employees, together with “issuing all EMS providers bullet and stab proof vests, and offering self-defense courses to all EMS providers.”

The April 30 petition, which has obtained 417 signatures up to now, additionally requires “an increase in criminal penalties for those found guilty of assaulting EMS Providers.”

Fatum vowed to not let the life-altering assault forestall her from transferring ahead in the healthcare subject. 

“Trying to find a new daily way of life for myself has been challenging. Lately I’ve been trying to study before school starts,” mentioned Fatum, who’s starting a doctor’s assistant program at Rutgers University in August. 

“My main goals right now are to continue my recovery and finish PA school. Hopefully, in 3 years after school finishes I can start a new chapter of my life as a PA,” she mentioned.

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