Gemma Leigh Southcott was giving first aid to an injured man when the thug turned aggressive and spat his bloody saliva at her.
She managed to calmly step back and wipe her face with disinfectant — using her phone to take a selfie to help her find where the blood was.
It was the start of six months of hell as brave Gemma had to undergo a series of tests to see if she contracted a disease from the ungrateful yob.
He was arrested — but was still treated by selfless docs for his injuries in hospital.
Despite her ordeal, Gemma, 34, carried on with the rest of her shift covering Devon and Cornwall for South Western Ambulance Service.
The determined medic said: " I decided that I wouldn't let this incident destroy me or ruin the job I have done for 13 years.
"It's the job I love and the job I will continue to do."
Taking to Facebook a year after her traumatic experience, Gemma revealed that she had just come back from maternity leave when she was called out to the job.
She rushed to treat the man and began assessing him outside in the pouring rain when he turned on her.
Gemma said: "He looked me in the eyes and spat in my face. I knew it was blood instantly because I could see it on my coat."
Her crew-mate immediately got on the radio to raise the alarm and get the police to come to their aid.
Meanwhile, she took the harrowing photograph of her face as she wiped away the blood.
That photograph would later go on to help convict the ungrateful thug in court.
Gemma wrote: "The security guard and my crewmate that night also attended court and they were amazing.
"With their help and the help of the police the patient was given an 8 week prison sentence".
He was also ordered to pay a £200 fine — of which Gemma only received £9.60.
But in her stirring message, she added: " I will continue to treat everyone with care, respect and to the best of my ability no matter their race, religion or lifestyle choices because that's what we do.
"Love my Ambo family, we don't deserve this."
Supportive friends rallied to congratulate Gemma for her bravery — as her post was shared more than 5,000 times.
Hayley Shirley replied: "You and your crew [do an] amazing job keep on going xxxx".
And Christine Bullock added: "Every decent minded person will be horrified at this Gemma and all will have words to say about the scum who did this to you.
"But its not about him, it's about you!!!
"You do an amazing job and you are one of those amazing people who give your all for others!
"I am in awe of your experience, bravery and compassion.
"You are a wonderful role model to others and i wish with all my heart that you didn't have to suffer some of the stuff you do.
"Thank you for everything you do for us, the public and I wish you nothing but good luck, love and success."
Gemma's emotional Facebook post
A year ago today, this happened…
Working on a rainy, windy night shift, a patient spat blood in my face.
He was outside in the rain and I was trying to look after him, during my assessment he looked me in the eyes and spat in my face. I knew it was blood instantly because i could see it on my coat.
I stepped away from the patient, my crewmate was on the radio requesting the police and a security guard that had been helping us kept an eye on the patient.
In the Ambulance I used a disinfectant wipe on my lips and around my eyes because I had felt the blood land there, as we don't have a mirror in the vehicle I took a picture with my phone to see if there was any more blood on my face.
That picture would later be used as evidence in court.
The police arrived and the patient was arrested, he needed to attend hospital so my colleague took over the patients care as I didn't want to get close to him again.
I drove us to hospital and the patient was booked in and his injuries were assessed and treated. I then booked myself in, I had bloods taken then went to the bathroom where I scrubbed my face until my skin was almost raw, I had a little cry and phoned my husband.
The police took my statement while we were still in the hospital and took a copy of the photo I had taken earlier.
I returned to the ambulance station and one of my friends gave me some clean uniform to wear as my shirt had blood on it, I reapplied my face and reported the incident appropriately.
Work were great and supportive and said I could go home but I didn't want to wake the house so I finished my shift.
In the morning I had an appointment first thing with occupational health where I had further bloods taken and due to the lifestyle of the patient I had hepatitis booster jabs.
I would have to have further bloods taken for the next 6 months to make sure I hadn't contracted anything.
Court was tough, the patient failed to attend but his lawyer was savage, I cried.
The security guard and my crewmate that night also attended court and they were amazing.
With their help and the help of the police the patient was given an 8 week prison sentence and was ordered to pay a £200 fine of which I have received £9.60.
After the incident I had four days off (allocated rest days) and it was during this time that I seriously considered if this was the job for me.
I had recently returned to work after maternity leave and it had been tough, I wasn't constantly at home to look after my baby, I was looking after people that would do this to me, it didn't feel right.
However, I decided that I wouldn't let this incident destroy me or ruin the job I have done for 13 years.
It's the job I love and the job I will continue to do.
I will continue to treat everyone with care, respect and to the best of my ability no matter their race, religion or lifestyle choices because that's what we do.
Love my Ambo family, we don't deserve this.
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