A hero schoolboy who was stabbed while saving a woman from a violent mugger has said he is relieved that she was not the victim.
"I'm glad it happened to me instead of her. She's a mother," said brave teenager Patrick O'Sullivan.
The 16-year-old underwent a three-hour operation as surgeons worked to repair a damaged artery. He needed 200 internal stitches.
Patrick told the Herald he now wants to focus on getting back to school.
The teenager rescued the woman who was being attacked by a thug near her home in Jobstown on the night of November 13.
Patrick was walking home at around 8.30pm when he heard a woman screaming in the dark about 50 metres away.
"When I heard her screaming I didn't think, I just ran to help her," he said.
"I just wanted to get the man off of her. It was dark and it all happened so fast. I didn't know he stabbed me as I struggled with him."
The knife sliced an artery, and doctors said that if the cut had been one millimetre deeper the artery would have been completely severed.
"The mugger ran with her handbag and grabbed a bicycle and cycled off. I chased him but he got away," said Patrick.
"I went to the woman and walked her to her parents' house and brought her inside. She was a bit shaken and I kept asking her how she was.
"It was only when I was talking to the gardai on the phone in the house that I realised I'd been stabbed.
"I looked down and saw the blood. I didn't want to scare the woman and her parents and just asked for a towel. The gardai kept ringing me back to see if I was all right."
Patrick has no regrets about his courageous act, which resulted in a potentially life-threatening wound and a fractured hand.
"If I did nothing and kept walking after hearing the screams, it could have been worse for the woman. I'm glad it happened to me instead of her," he said.
Patrick said his priority now is to get back to school.
He has already visited Mount Seskin Secondary School where he spoke with some of his teachers.
His friends visit him at his home in Jobstown and pass on his homework assignments.
"I'd like to get back as soon as possible. I've got the Leaving Cert next year," said Patrick.
"I want to thank the paramedics, the gardai, and all the staff at the hospital."
His mother, Marie Davidson, said she is "extremely proud" of Patrick.
"He's healing physically and I want him to get fully healed. Family and friends can't get over how brave he was," she said.