One-punch attack changes paramedic's world view
IT'S the high-profile case that shocked the nation, opened a forum for public debate and set a precedent for law changes regarding random one-punch killings.
Cole Miller, 18, was the victim of a random one-punch attack in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley by Armstrong Renata in January 2016, resulting in the premature death of the promising water-polo player.
The case has stuck with now Gladstone advanced care paramedic Aynslee Ryan who had attended Mr Miller on the night of the incident.
She says that "changed her world view".
"When you're younger, your parents always say good things will happen if you do good things," the 27-year-old said.
"But that job instilled in me that sometimes you live in a bad place, and bad things happen to good people, and it changes that world view a bit.
"You go through phases as a paramedic where you have jobs (like that) which we say rattle your cage and they all leave an impact."
Her connection to the case deepened as it played out in the media. The publicity eventually led to the accused being one of the first convicted under the law covering unlawful striking causing death.
She had a younger brother of a similar age to Cole who frequented the same nightclub precinct where Mr Miller was killed.
"I found that job quite difficult due to the fact that over the course of probably a year or two years, I watched his family grieve on television," she said.
"There's definitely some jobs that stick with you whether that's due to your own personal association with that job or it's because you develop a connection with that family.
"You almost grieve with them.
"As paramedics we are helpers, we like to help and our biggest problem as paramedics is when we feel helpless."
She said while any job could touch a paramedic personally, it was those involving young people that hurt the most.
"You feel like they've been robbed," Aynslee said.
"They haven't had that life experience, and the hard part for him was that was his first night out.
"Young is hard, and I don't think they'll ever be easy."
Now Aynslee serves the regional Queensland community of Gladstone, a change of pace for the former Brisbane resident.
The paramedic of seven years enjoys any chance she has to educate the public, and her passion for taking care of the community shines as bright as ever.
It's the strong bond within the small team that helps Aynslee enjoy work as well as live life.
"In terms of everyday life, (the incident hasn't changed me) too much," she said.
"If all you think of is things that can happen when you go somewhere you're never going to live your life for yourself."