By Beth Germano

BOSTON (CBS) – An emergency room nurse who was brutally attacked on the job is now one of the driving forces behind a bill that would require safety plans for healthcare workers.

Elise Wilson says she was assessing a patient at Harrington Hospital on June 14 when he suddenly came at her with a knife.

“I could have lost everything,” she tells WBZ-TV. “All of a sudden he swung at me and punched me in the head. I looked up and he was holding a knife over his head. The next thing I knew he stabbed me in the neck.”

Elise Wilson was stabbed by a patient at Harrington Hospital (WBZ-TV)

Not just in the neck but deep wounds to her arm as she tried to defend herself, severing nerves that have left her arm with limited mobility.

“I lost out finishing my career the way I wanted to. I lost out on months and months of my life,” said Wilson who is undergoing intensive therapy and may need additional surgeries.

The bill, now known as Elise’s Law, was heard by the joint committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, passing favorably today.

Elise Wilson, seriously injured in a stabbing attack at Harrington Hospital last month.
(Massachusetts Nurses Association)

Her husband Clifton Wilson testified on her behalf. “These people shouldn’t have to go to work every day wondering if they’re going to go home,” Clifton Wilson said.

Harrington Hospital has installed metal detectors within the last few weeks, already confiscating nearly a dozen knives. Nurses now have panic buttons, and Elise Wilson hopes it can be a model for other hospitals.

“He came in nonviolent, we were having a normal conversation and it changed like that. That’s how it can change,” said Wilson.

“I almost lost her and that’s the key to this whole thing,” said Clifton Wilson.

She doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to return to nursing, but if the day comes she hopes it’s under a new law.

Beth Germano

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