Paramedic returns to work following assault

The paramedic was responding to a call when a woman spat in her mouth and flicked blood on her before saying she was HIV positive


TOWNSVILLE, Australia — A paramedic has returned to work after months of tests and medications following an attack by a patient who claimed she had HIV.

ABC.net.au reported Townsville paramedic Bronwyn Ballin responded to a call to treat Christine Wyles, 37, in March 2015.

While Ballin was attempting to treat Wyles, she spat into Ballin's mouth and flicked blood at her before saying that she was HIV positive.

Following the attack, Ballin developed ulcers in her mouth and spent the next six months undergoing tests.

"It was scary waiting, not knowing," Ballin said. "And my son, he was petrified of catching something."

Ballin said incidents of paramedics being attacked has been on the rise in Australia and that it is something she always worries about.

"Just because you are there to help somebody, they don't respect you and they don't respect the fact that you are a human as well," Ballin said.

Ballin is still on medication following the assault and said the incident will have long-term effects on her.

"Something you might think is trivial can affect somebody else for the rest of their life," she said. "I am on medication and the thoughts and the dreams will never stop."

Despite the trauma, Ballin was happy to return to work.

"After 16 years on the road I didn't think I would miss the uniform, but I sure did," Ballin said.

Wyles was sentenced to nine months in jail for the assault, but will be eligible for parole after three months.

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