Family, friends testify in favor of ‘Elise’s Law’ after brutal hospital stabbing

SOUTHBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - The colleagues of a Massachusetts emergency room nurse who was brutally stabbed in a hospital attack earlier this year gathered Wednesday at the state house on Beacon Hill, calling for change. They testified in favor of “Elise’s Law,” which would help better protect nurses from workplace violence.

On Wednesday, 65-year-old Elise Wilson’s husband and co-workers, pleaded that violence against nurses and other healthcare workers needs to stop.

Wilson was working in the ER at Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge when police said a man walked in, punched her in the head and repeatedly stabbed her.

Wilson, who is still recovering from the June attack, could not make it to the hearing but her co-worker shared a powerful letter that she had wrote.

“I remember him punching me in the head. I was shocked. When I looked up again he was standing over me with a knife. I then felt him stab me in the neck. I was terrorized,” Tracy Digregorio read.

The law passed favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security following the testimony.

Wilson was four months from retirement when she was attacked. She now has very limited use of her arm and faces a lengthy recovery.

“I almost lost her and that’s the key to the whole thing. This can’t happen again,” Wilson’s husband Clifton said.

Since the attack, the hospital has made major safety improvements. Nurses are now equipped with a panic button, bags are searched and metal detectors have been installed at the ER entrances.


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