Monday, July 11, 2005

Another survivor has got in touch

I've come back from seeing my GP, who was more shocked than me when I told her what had happened; I had to tell her to pull herself together as she was starting to flap!
She checked my lungs and breathing and everything is fine. My stitches need to stay in another week.
An amazing thing happened today: Mark, a man who was on the train in the same carriage as me got in touch. He had read my account on the urban 75 community internet site where I was originally posting my experiences before I moved to the BBC.
He posted his story too, and we got in contact with each other. It turns out that he lives up the road from me, and when the bomb went off, was one of the people sitting just in front of me behind the driver's cab.
He was the man who spoke to the driver and passed the message back to me: "The driver is going to get us off this train, but we need to make sure that the track isn't live first".
I passed the message to the women around me and we shouted it back into the darkness of the train, to try to stop the panic and screaming.
Because of that communication, many of us escaped calmly and walked to safety. His story exactly matches my story. It is quite incredible to think that we have got in touch. We spoke on the phone, and he and his wife are coming round later to have a glass of wine in my garden with me and John, my partner.
His calm voice in the darkness was one of the things that kept me calm and gave me hope; I had been wondering if I would ever find out about him, and then he gets in touch!
The internet is really coming into its own with people sharing information and comfort and news.
John made it into work safely and called me to say he had arrived. It is hard for him as well; he has been supporting me unstintingly and has had to deal with the information that I escaped death by yards and so nearly didn't emerge from such a hellish scene.
He says it is rather hard to concentrate on the minutiae of work at the moment. I'm not surprised. I also spoke to Jenna, the colleague from my office who I called when I emerged from Russell Square in shock.
She rushed over in a black cab with a first aid kit to Russell Square and took me to hospital. She had only qualified as a first aider the week before, and here she was, helping survivors of a terrorist atrocity!
She was a wonderful comfort to me and others at the hospital and she stayed with me until I found John and we could make our way home.
Then she put on her trainers and jogged back to South London, as all the public transport was in chaos. What a woman. So many ordinary people, who have faced extraordinary things. So inspiring to talk to each other and share our stories.
The fear is leaving me and the sense of pride is growing, proud of myself for holding it together, proud of all the people who helped, proud of London, my adopted city. We're going to put on one hell of an Olympics after this.


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