One Year On: Hero Police Officer Who Ran At London Bridge Attackers Tells His Story
It's been a year since eight innocent people were killed on London Bridge and in nearby Borough Market, in a devastating terrorist attack.
The incident took place at around 10pm on a Saturday night, when the area was full of people out having dinner and drinks.
A van was driven into pedestrians on the bridge in the capital, before its occupants ran into restaurants and pubs and began stabbing people at random. The three attackers were shot dead by police. Forty-eight people were injured, including four police officers.
One of those officers was PC Charlie Guenigault. The 25-year-old suffered stab wounds to the head, leg, back and stomach after running towards the terrorists while off-duty.
On the night of June 3, 2017, I was on my way home from drinks with friends after work - heading to catch my train home from London Bridge.
I heard someone across the road shouting that they had been stabbed and went over to help in anyway I could. Then a fight, which appeared to be separate, started.
The British Transport Police stepped in and they started to get attacked too. I had to go in and do what I could but it turned out to be worse than I could ever imagine.
I was stabbed five times and required five surgeries and spent a total of 70 days in hospital, over two different stays. My spleen was removed and I was put in an induced coma for three days.
There are now several surgical scars to go with those from the stab wounds.
There are times where I feel regrets about what happened - putting my family and friends through the emotional strain of this ordeal and that I couldn't save more people. I feel I have so much support though, and I'm determined to get through this and move on.
Now, a year since the attack, I realise the severity of what has happened to me. It's made me realise what is important in life and to make the most out of the time I have - it feels like I have been given a second chance.
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was fortunate enough that my friends and family could be contacted on the night
of the attack and some of them were there when I woke up.
The visits I had in hospital helped so much and I can't thank everyone enough who took the time to come and see me.
I had to do as much exercise as possible to get me through those long, testing days - to help my body recover and keep me motivated through all of the surgeries.
It gave me time to think about what I wanted to do next and that was to run the London Marathon again.
The amount of messages of support I have received from around the country and from afar has been amazing.
I have also received so many messages of support and donations to my London Marathon charity page. This money will go towards the new Critical Care Unit at Kings College Hospital, which is the hospital where I was treated. I'm glad that I can help give something back to the hospital that saved my life.
The biggest achievement for me in the year since the attack is that - with the help from members of the public, police, paramedics and the hospital staff - I'm still alive and I am able to live a full life.
know I am lucky, and I know that I can't let the attackers change the way I am
and they won't.
We have to look out for one another and we have to do everything we can to stop this from happening again.
Terrorists don't care who you are, where you come from, your age, gender, race or religion. Their aim is to cause fear, chaos and hate and we can't let that happen.
Charlie completed this year's London Marathon to raise funds for the Kings College Hospital Charity - you can donate at his fundraising page here.
Featured Image Credit: Trinity Mirror