A woman in Vinita, Oklahoma, is sharing her story after a coworker reportedly shot her twice in the head and beat her.
Ottawa County sheriff’s deputies said someone attacked Bonnie VanDeraa at her apartment in Miami, Oklahoma, in January.
Deputies said VanDeraa’s coworker, who worked with her as an EMT in Vinita, was behind the attack. That co-worker reportedly died in a field across the street after he shot himself.
VanDeraa said her coworker had been diagnosed with cancer for the second time and had subsequently sunk into a deep depression when he hurt her. She said he shot her twice in the head and beat her with a wooden baton until the baton split.
VanDeraa suffered two gunshot wounds and a skull fracture as a result of the incident, and one of her fingers required a plate and nine screws to fix.
After the incident, she reportedly summoned the strength to crawl to a neighbor’s house, and that neighbor called 911. She said the next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital.
VanDeraa said the doctor told her family they didn’t expect her to make it. She stayed in the hospital just eight days before she was released. Less than a month later, she walked a 5K race in Tulsa.
VanDeraa is an avid runner, and she said her athleticism and paramedic knowledge helped her survive.
The community is coming together to help raise money for VanDeraa's recovery. They are hosting a 5k Saturday at North Park in Vinita at 9 a.m. There will also be a bake sale, raffle and silent auction.
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