As she recovers in a hospital bed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Female Surgical Ward, a day after her husband tried to kill her before he ended his own life, Tamika Miller heard warnings. “When a man hit you, he ain’t love you, so don’t try to think otherwise,” her cousin told her yesterday, while adding that women should leave their attacker immediately after the first time they have been hit.
Miller, 29, of 18 Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara and Andrew Patterson, 32, had been married for eight years. Throughout its duration, Patterson’s inability to constructively spend his money plagued the union with arguments. However, Miller told Stabroek News that though verbal abuse happened often, the man only physically hit her once.
It was no indication of the brutality she would suffer early Tuesday morning, when her husband stabbed her 27 times. The man was later found hanging in the backyard of a house at Versailles, with both wrists slit and the knife close by his suspended body.
Miller reported that she is feeling much better despite the severity of the attack. She did not complain of much pain but said she has one major wound to the upper left side torso, which was the first stab wound inflicted by her husband.
From her hospital bed, the sobbing woman showed the bandages on her hands as she recalled the attack. As her husband stabbed her, she said that she constantly tried to take the knife away from him and he kept pulling the blade through her hands, which led to the cuts inside her palms.
Patterson said after she suffered the first stab wound, her husband said he would finish her off and she ran outside her yard for help. The security guard in the neighbouring tyre shop was unable to render assistance since he was locked in the yard.
Mulling over her decision to go on the road rather than making an escape through the bushes at the back of her yard, she said she later decided that she had made the right decision in the heat of the moment.
She had previously told this newspaper that she had been lying on her back but she turned over to be stabbed in the back instead, knowing that repeated stabbing to her chest and stomach would surely kill her.
She added yesterday that it was a conscious quest for survival since she felt that if she took the stabs to her stomach, it was less likely she would have survived.
It was the screams of her eight-year-old daughter, Terrencia Kayla Patterson that brought the woman relief from her attacker as neighbours who were alerted soon came to her rescue. By the time persons arrived and took Miller to the West Demerara Regional Hospital, her husband, who was an employee of the Guyana Power and Light, at Vreed-en-Hoop, had already fled the scene.
Patterson’s family told the newspaper earlier that they believed the man took his own life because he felt the woman had died.
The wounded woman said she left her husband about a few weeks ago because he would drink, gamble and smoke away his earnings. “It got overbearing, I had to leave,” she said.