‘Very emotional’: Alberta man meets paramedic from Ottawa, who saved his life 28 years ago

It is a meeting he says helps bring the long-needed closure

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Dave Murphy attributes his life to the actions of two paramedics who took care of him after he was stabbed 13 times and nearly bled to death in an attack in Ottawa in 1994.

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Now, almost 28 years later, he finally had the opportunity to personally thank one of these heroes at the front line for their work that day.

“Yesterday, my wife and daughter and I had a video chat with her and her husband,” Murphy said Sunday. It is a meeting he says helps bring the long-needed closure.

“It was very emotional. I’ve had post-traumatic stress disorder for 20 years… This closes for me. I can move on from this and focus on helping people who went through the shit I went through.”

Murphy, 46, was attacked by three men outside Ottawa’s Bayshore Shopping Center on March 28, 1994.

Now living in Claresholm, about 125 miles south of Calgary, Murphy had unsuccessfully tried to get in touch with paramedics over the past half decade. About a week ago, he decided to send one last call. Several Ottawa media outlets picked up on the story and helped connect the paramedic.

The couple chatted over a messaging app before having a video call with their families on Saturday.

They exchange works of art in which the paramedic sends a painting she made, called “The Perfect Storm,” which depicts lightning strikes in a field of tulips.

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“That painting will be in my living room as long as I’m alive, and then I’ll pass it on to my daughter, and we can keep it in the family, for it’s something I will never forget,” Murphy said. “It’s not just a moment. I have a new lifelong friend here.”

Murphy said he will not be able to get in touch with the other paramedic from the life-changing day, but that he is happy that his search to thank one of the doctors involved was a possible success.

He said all first aiders deserve praise and support, adding that these workers are also prone to mental challenges like PTSD.

“I hid it from my family and friends for many years. I used to drink a lot and eat a lot in pubs to escape it,” Murphy said.

“My biggest message to people is that it’s hard to get out and ask for help, but you want to be 100 times stronger than you’ve ever been.”

– With files from Bill Kaufmann

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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