All eyes were on Jesse “The Devil” Hughes, the frontman for US-based band Eagles of Death Metal, when the sound of Kalashnikovs drowned the music inside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris. As gunmen burst through the front door shooting, a South African woman naively believed that it was all part of the show. Isobel Bowdery, a University of Cape Town graduate, shared her ordeal in a vivid Facebook post the day after the attack in Paris that left more than 120 dead. She also posted an image of her blood-stained shirt along with the post.
“Dozens of people were shot right in front 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,” Isobel wrote.
Isobel had to lie down among those gunned down — holding her breath, trying not to move — pretending to be dead for over an hour. She tried not to cry because she did not want the gunmen to see her afraid.
“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. But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes,” She wrote.
The South African goes on to thank all those who helped her survive the attack and who comforted her in its aftermath.
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“As I lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered ‘I love you’ over and over again. Reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those I love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep believing in the good in people. to not let those men win,” Isobel wrote.
This moving post was shared over 700,000 times and liked by over 2 million Facebook users including Mark Zuckerberg and his sister Randi Zuckerberg.