A year ago today locals and tourists across Paris were going about there day, completely unaware of what horrific events would unfold.
Two of those people were Katie Healy and David Nolan. David had planned a romantic trip to Paris for Katie’s 28th birthday and was planning to propose.
Tickets to a Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan theatre on their first night there was only supposed to add to their fun, but instead they were caught up in one of the most terrifying terrorist attacks in recent history.
Frances capital was rocked by a series of co-ordinated attacks by the so-called Islamic State, which killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan.
Somehow, the pair managed to escape the onslaught and now on the first anniversary of the horror, the pair revealed to The Mirror that they are expecting their first baby.
Speaking to The Mirror, Katie said:
We are so happy to have a baby on the way. But we’re painfully aware that while we prepare to welcome a new life, a lot of families are visiting graves.
We think of those lost at the Bataclan every day and the sorrow can be overwhelming. But we can’t keep looking back when there’s something so new in front of us. We won’t let the horror that touched our lives in anyway impact our child’s future. We can’t allow fear to dominate our future.
Recounting that fateful night at the Bataclan, the couple explained how they were enjoying dancing to one of the band’s songs before a sudden flash of light and snap of gunshot ripped through the venue.
I fell to the floor, hitting my head. Then more bullets – many more. Almost immediately I knew it was ISIS. The man who had been standing in front of me was definitely dead. The lady with him was gone too. And I felt indescribable cold fear.
In an incredibly selfless and heroic act, David crawled on top of Katie and shielded her from Daesh gunmen storming the venue.
However, David insists he wasn’t brave. “When you love someone, your instinct is to protect them. I felt sure I would be shot but just hoped the bullet would go through me and not Katie. I did what anyone would,” he said.
As one gunman got closer and closer, firing into the bodies around them, the couple thought it was the end for them.
They whispered to each other: “This is it. I love you. Goodbye.”
But the killer miraculously walked on and David saw an opening. They made a run for it, dodging bullets as they escaped the building.
Only once they were outside did they realise David had been shot in the left foot. She somehow managed to drag him to safety in a nearby apartment.
A girl let the couple in and a friend drove them to hospital. “We saw the worst of humanity and the best of people in the same night,” David added.
David was left with shrapnel in his foot and spent three months in a wheelchair.
Thoughts of the Bataclan are rarely far away. I’ve had screaming in my ears since that night. But I appreciate I am extremely lucky. Although I will forever think of the people who did not escape, I will also focus on hope for a future full of family love. Because in this scary world that’s all that really matters.
Our thoughts are still with the friends and family of those affected by this tragedy.