A South African Woman Survived The Paris Attacks By Pretending To Be Dead
22-year-old Isobel Bowdery from Cape Town, South Africa thought she was just going to enjoy a rock show the night of the Paris attacks. The band Eagles of Death Metal had begun their sixth song at the Bataclan theatre in Paris on Friday, November 13th when three armed gunmen opened fire in the venue. Bowdery shared the chilling details of how she managed to survive the deadly attack by lying still among the dead bodies.
She describes it as a massacre
Bowdery shared a picture of her blood-stained shirt on Facebook along with her story, which has now been shared over 700,000 times.
“You never think it will happen to you. It was just a friday night at a rock show. the atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. and then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naiively believed it was all part of the show. It wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre. Dozens of people were shot right infront of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken in an instant.”
Lying among the dead, she waited for someone to say it was just a nightmare
“Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I – to have a fun Friday night were innocent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are supposed to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticulously aimed at shot people around the standing area I was in the centre of without any consideration for human life. It didn’t feel real. I expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare.”
She thanked all the heroes she saw
“But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes. To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst i whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy i loved was dead, to the injured man who I had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so i wouldnt have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support – you make me believe this world has the potential to be better. to never let this happen again.”
She will never forget that night
“Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. to live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil. RIP angels. You will never be forgotten,” she concluded.
The latest news from Paris
The attacks left at least 129 dead and 352 wounded. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack. French police named Salah Abdeslam, 26, as the main suspect and are conducting a manhunt for him and his accomplices. French military aircraft have attacked Raqqa in Syria – the stronghold of IS.