Oklahoma Paramedic Recovering After Knife Attack

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ An Oologah paramedic who was beaten and stabbed by a drug-seeking attacker vowed to recover from her injuries and return to her job.

Emily O'Banion, 24, said she must endure physical therapy to regain the feeling she lost on her left side, but that she isn't rethinking her career.

''I'll be back,'' she said from a wheelchair during a news conference Friday at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

Allen Dallas Weddle Jr., 45, of Oologah is accused of beating and stabbing O'Banion about 1:30 a.m. Monday at an Oologah ambulance station.

As O'Banion was investigating a noise in the ambulance bay, a man jumped from around a corner, stabbed her, put his hand over her mouth and demanded morphine, she said.

Upon being told that she would have to wake up her partner, Kelly Berry, to retrieve keys for the drug, the assailant patted a gun he had in his pocket and said, ''Don't worry about Kelly,'' O'Banion said.

''Right then and there, I just dug my feet into the concrete,'' said O'Banion, who struggled with her attacker before falling into a tray of oxygen tanks.

O'Banion said she feared that Weddle, who had threatened the pair before, was going to shoot Berry, who was sleeping in quarters roughly 60 feet away.

Berry, her partner of two-plus years, stood by O'Banion's side Friday as she answered questions. He tended to O'Banion after her attacker fled.

''I've got a hero. Her name is Emily,'' Berry said. ''She'll be back. We're partners for life. But we will be on an ambulance again one day.''

Through a written statement, O'Banion's physician said she is improving and is expected to make a nearly full recovery, although he mentioned no timetable.

''Right now, the toughest thing I deal with is having so much emotion, working so hard to get up in a chair and then slumping over because I don't even have the energy to hold myself up,'' O'Banion said.

She also misses her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

''My kids are without me,'' she said, ''and I can't replace those times.''

Weddle, who is in the Rogers County Jail with bail set at $200,000, faces a complaint of assault and battery with an intent to kill, a spokesman said.

Weddle, who police say has denied involvement in the attack, has a scheduled court appearance Wednesday.

___

Information from Tulsa World

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