ETMC Paramedic, "Woman Without A Face" Reunite On Oprah - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/25/05-Tyler

ETMC Paramedic, "Woman Without A Face" Reunite On Oprah

She is known as the "woman without a face." A point blank gunshot fired by her abusive boyfriend, ripped through Carolyn Thomas, tearing off her face.

But the night of the horrific crime, ETMC paramedic Dale Yates responded to the call. With his help, Carolyn is not only alive but growing stronger.

The emotional story was picked up by "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and Dale and Carolyn were reunited for the first time. The episode airs Thursday, however KLTV 7's Maya Golden  talked with Dale the day before.

He was working EMS on a December night of 2003, when the call about the gun shot wound came in. "They wanted us to really hurry because we had more than one victim at this time," Dale recalled. "First time I saw her was when they pushed her in to the truck. It's kind of a strange feeling to see somebody like that."

Even today, Dale still thinks of that cold night and the chilling scene, where he struggled to save a mother breathing her last breath, and a daughter, her face gone.

Dale fought to keep Carolyn Thomas's airway open. "When we left the hospital to make more calls that night, we really didn't think she would leave the hospital."

Her mother did not make it, but Carolyn survived. Dale never saw her after that night. Then one day, a year and a half later, Oprah Winfrey's producers gave him a call.

"They asked if I had ever met her, I told them no," he said. "They asked if I had the chance to see her would I like to see her. I said of course I would."

For the first time on that famous set, Dale stood face to face with what he calls God's grace.
When asked if Carolyn said anything to him he took away with him that day, he replied, "Thank you, and she didn't blame me for her mom."

His eyes began to water thinking of that day. Dale wants everyone to know, he was just doing his job that night, and says he's no hero.

"This is not an 'I' thing. It's a 'we' thing. I was just fortunate enough to run a call that turned out on the good side."

A good side that gave Carolyn Thomas a future. A side that helped this EMS worker believe in miracles.

Carolyn's ex-boyfriend was sentenced to two life sentences without parole. Dale said he and Carolyn have made plans to speak and visit with each other again. Their episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" airs Thursday, May 26, at 4 p.m. on KLTV.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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