A Melton woman who cheated death in the London Bridge terror attack says counselling and a remarkable friendship with the girlfriend of a Frenchman who was killed, have helped her cope since it happened a year ago.
Holly Jones walked past Christine Delcros and Xavier Thomas seconds before the French couple were hit by a van carrying three Jihadis.
The vehicle missed Holly by inches and she ran to comfort the badly injured Christine before alerting police that Xavier had been knocked over the railing into the Thames.
His body was recovered later from the river, while Christine was taken to hospital.
Holly (27) made contact with her via social media and last year travelled to France for an emotional reunion.
They have stayed in contact and met up again last week, when Christine visited London for a service exactly one year on from the van and knife attack, which left eight people dead and 48 injured.
“It was terriyfing meeting Christine that first time because, for some reason, I felt guilty that I was ok, but people had been killed and seriously injured,” Holly told the Melton Times this week.
“But she couldn’t remember anything that happened on the bridge.
“I wrote her a five-page letter explaining everything that happened.
“It was hard for her to read and she cried when she read it, but she said it answered all the questions she had.”
Christine (46) was in an electric wheelchair initially but she is now able to walk with a stick. “I was proud that I was able to give her some kind of closure,” said Holly.
“We have a good friendship now. I have helped her come to terms with it, but she has also helped me.”
Holly, who grew up in Melton and attended St Francis Primary, Long Field Academy and King Edward VII Schools, moved to London to work as a BBC broadcast journalist.
On that fateful night, she had arranged to meet friends for a drink and was walking across London Bridge from the direction of Borough Market when the van ploughed into pedestrians at high speed.
It sped off towards the market before the three terrorists got out and began randomly attacking people with knives.
Holly has been attending counselling sessions with a BBC camerawoman, who suffers from PTSD from working in war zones.
“My friends and family supported me and they would say how well I was coping,” she said.
“But just because I wasn’t bursting into tears every day didn’t mean that it hadn’t affected me.
“I used to get agitated and stressed about things which didn’t really matter in the weeks after it happened.
“But the counselling is helping.”
Holly said her parents back home in Scalford, Kate and Tom, and her brothers, Liam and Rob, who both now also live in London, have been incredibly supportive.
She added: “When I came home to Melton it was a little awkward at first, because people were scared to bring it up, and it was a bit like the elephant in the room.
“But they now know I’m happy to talk about it, and everyone has been amazing to me.”