Belfast Telegraph

Queen's University graduate who tended to officer relives aftermath of terror attack

By Victoria Leonard

A Queen's University graduate who is working as a junior doctor in London has spoke of the moment she rushed to the aid of a police officer wounded in Wednesday's terror attack.

Colleen Anderson (25) who is believed to be from County Durham but graduated from Queen's University Belfast last year, is a junior doctor at St Thomas' Hospital close to where the tragedy unfolded on Westminster Bridge.

In the moments after the incident, she told reporters how she had tended to an injured police officer in his thirties, and witnessed numerous casualties.

"I walked past about nine injuries but some weren't so insignificant," she said, fighting back tears.

"Somebody was unconscious who did regain consciousness, it was ok.

"I'm just in shock to be honest, I wasn't really expecting that this afternoon."

Colleen revealed that she and other doctors had done everything they could to assist those in need as the traumatic event occurred.

"I was on the ward in our doctor's office just there," she told reporters at the scene, gesturing to a nearby building.

"My SHO (senior house officer) came running past me and I was like 'what's wrong?' and he told me what happened and then I went out and looked and all of us in the office were like, 'We need to do something.'

"So we all just went out and helped, got blankets. Physios were with me helping."

Colleen said that while she had received emergency training, it was "not for that".

"We train for these events: emergency, basic life support, we have to do that, how to triage people, who needs attention first," she explained.

She added that she had got "stuck in" helping with the head injury sustained by the police officer, and that other doctors were also present at th e scene.

Four people were murdered in the midweek terror tragedy, and killer 52-year-old Khalid Masood was shot dead by police.

Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament.

He then got out of the car and stabbed PC Keith Palmer before being shot dead.

At least 50 people were injured, with 31 needing hospital treatment. Two people remain in a critical condition, and one has life-threatening injuries.

Two police officers injured on Westminster Bridge are being treated for "very significant injuries".

In a statement about the Westminster incident, a spokesperson for Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust said: "Two patients were treated at St Thomas' Hospital following Wednesday's security incident in Westminster - one man and one woman. The man left hospital on Thursday and the woman remains in a stable condition."

Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust Amanda Pritchard added: "I would like to thank all staff who were involved in the response to the terrible event on Wednesday.

"The Trust's major incident procedures have worked well, and there has been an excellent response from both clinical and non-clinical staff. My thoughts are with all affected by this appalling tragedy."

Meanwhile, Muslims condemned the "heinous and appalling" Westminster terror attack as they joined together with Christian and Jewish leaders yesterday just metres from the scene of the horror.

Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli, representing Shia Muslims, and Sunni Sheikh Khalifa Ezzat, head Imam at the London Central Mosque, stood side-by-side with Justin Welby, Ephriam Mirvis and Cardinal Vincent Nichols outside Westminster Abbey.

They led a minute of silence in tribute to the four innocent victims who were killed and the many who were left injured.

Mr Al-Hilli said: "As a member of the Shia Muslim community here in the United Kingdom, I would like to express my condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous and appalling attack. We utterly condemn this terrorist act."

Mr Welby said people were still "deeply shocked" by the terror attack and paid tribute to the victims, including Pc Keith Palmer.

He hailed "the police who were there and are here today, whose consistent courage and simple observance of duty is an extraordinary example to all of us and one that we admire very greatly".

Cardinal Nichols said: "Yesterday, I received a message from Pope Francis in which he assured this country of his prayers for our future, for our well-being and for our peace."

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