Fowlmere nurse honoured for treating London Bridge terror attack victims
PUBLISHED: 17:01 16 July 2018
A Fowlmere nurse is to be honoured with a top award after running onto London Bridge to help victims of last year's terror attack.
Elizabeth Bryan was on a hen party with family and friends in the city on June 3 last year when a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians on the bridge, before the terrorists inside went onto stab people in pubs and restaurants around Borough Market.
The 39-year-old, known as Lizzie, told the Crow: “We had a lovely afternoon, and were sitting down by the river to have a late supper in Cote Brasserie when suddenly we realised something horrendous was unfolding.
“I thought it must be a nasty crash. Then I heard a helicopter, and saw a police speed boat whizzing along the river.”
It was then that Lizzie – who has previously worked in A&E at Addenbrooke’s and the Royal Free Hospital – her soldier brother-in-law Peter Bryan, and fellow nurse Nicola Purchase went to help.
She said: “We ran into absolute chaos, it was just surreal – eerily quiet, but at the same time, horribly noisy.
“I went into autopilot. There was an ambulance technician performing CPR on a lady so Peter and I took over CPR to free them up and then I went to help others. Nicola went straight to a man who was very badly injured.
“There were riot police running past us and we were being told it was not safe, but we were too busy helping to perceive the potential danger.
“On the bridge, I looked round and everyone had someone sitting with them. It brought out the best in humanity – people were stopping to help even if it was just holding the hands of people on the floor.
“We had to help transfer the patients onto stretchers and run to the other side of the bridge carrying them to get them to ambulances. Sadly they called time of death for two of the patients there on the bridge.
“At about midnight we had to make our way back to our relatives who were all locked in the restaurants, not knowing what was happening. “That was the only time I was scared because we didn’t know if those responsible had been captured or shot.”
They stayed the night in London having to walk across the city to one of the group’s flat, and Lizzie made her way home the next morning to husband of nine years, Bobby, 41 – a lieutenant colonel in the army, and her three young children, who are all under six.
She said: “The worst part where it really hit home was when I got off the train at Royston and my husband was there with our children. It was very emotional, we had lots of cuddles and kisses.”
Lizzie, Nicola and Peter will receive the Royal Humane Society bronze medal later this year.
“It made me feel humble to be told I’d be given such a big award, it was a real shock,” she said.