We need trained security staff guarding and protecting our hospitals.
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My husband and I recently took our three year old son to the emergency department of a public hospital in Melbourne. It was 7:30am and found emergency rather quiet with only one gentleman sitting in the waiting room reading a magazine. What I found uncomfortable was that this gentleman was being harassed by a man who I suspect was under the influence of either (or both) drugs and alcohol. This man was asked to leave by a hospital nurse and further added that police would be called if he returned. He left though immediately returned and told the nurse to call the police then directly made his way to the older gentleman (I estimate he was in his mid to late 60’s) and began to physically assault him. To say he physically assaulted the gentleman is in fact being kind. I witnessed a man being so brutally beaten that no inch of his body was left unbloodied. Nurses whisked my husband, my son and I away to ensure we were kept safe and more importantly that my son wouldn’t witness any of this. My husband kept my son safe in a closed room but I stood behind a glass window and witnessed it all whilst I screamed for someone to help the gentleman who was left alone in the waiting room to defend himself- and how could he defend himself against this man who only understands violence and rage? What hope did he have? All of this could have been avoided if security staff were there to take action immediately. Code grey was signalled throughout the hospital, police were being called, all the ‘right’ action was being implemented by the nurses but all behind a safe glass barrier, all whilst a man was having his life beaten and broken by an enraged (less than) man.
I have found myself replay this incident in my head over and over since it happened asking myself what could I have done to help. I don’t think there was anything I could have done, I don’t think the nurses could have done anything else either, they’re not trained security or police. Security is the only thing that could have made a difference. I can’t go back and change anything but what I can do is try and make a change from here onwards. I want to do this for the gentleman so that he knows that although I watched helplessly my heart still aches for him.
I have since found out that the gentleman did survive and was discharged from hospital the following day. His physical wounds will heal but his life will never, ever be the same. Nor will mine. This should not have happened and I am creating this petition to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
This occurred in the same hospital where an esteemed surgeon was king hit and died after telling a man to stop smoking inside.
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