Terror attack survivor now a Paralympian

2012-08-31 20:30
Martine Wright. (AP)

Martine Wright. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London -  Keep an eye out for No 7 when Britain plays Ukraine in its first match of the Paralympic Games sitting volleyball tournament on Friday.

That's Martine Wright, a former marketing manager who was travelling on London's subway on 7 July 2005, when four suicide bombers inspired by Osama bin Laden detonated explosives and killed 52 commuters. She lost both her legs in the explosion. But as Wright will tell you, that wasn't the end of the story.

"I will always say I was one of the lucky ones that day," she said earlier this year. "I survived. I don't know how I survived. I've been living my life ever since."

She had stayed out late the night before, celebrating the decision to award the Summer Olympics to London. Having overslept, she didn't reach the car she normally rode. Instead, she just jumped on the train as the doors closed.

Blood

She later told an inquest into the terror attacks that she recalled a flash of light and a sensation of being thrown from side to side. She looked up, and saw one of the new sneakers she had just bought. It was bloody, blown off her foot and skewered on a piece of metal.

An off-duty policewoman found her, wrapped her leg in a tourniquet, held her hand, moistened her lips with water. She had lost three-fourths of her blood.

Her body swelled to twice its normal size because of her injuries. Her brother and sister saw her in the hospital and told the police it wasn't her.

Wright will tell you that she had help to get through the seven years since 7/7. It's about Martine's team - what she refers to as "Team Me" - her support group of family and friends.

It started in the hospital, with her mother, holding her daughter's face in her hands, telling her she could have died or suffered brain damage. But that didn't happen. Martine was still Martine.

Life choices

Wright saw the impact of the bombs on so many others. Families grieved. The city reeled in shock. She ultimately had to decide: What would it be, Martine?

The answer began with small steps on prosthetic legs. She fell down. But she got back up, again and again.
"When you go through something traumatic in your life ... you sometimes lose who you are," she said. "You're thrown in this completely new world. When it happened to me, it didn't sort of happen overnight, suddenly, an epiphany - Right. I can live my life now. It's a very gradual process."

She learned to fly, took up skiing. She got married, had a gorgeous little boy. But she needed more.

Always athletic, she missed the competitiveness she once experienced at work - that passion for success, the thrill of winning. She became attracted to sitting volleyball because you don't use a wheelchair.

Sitting volleyball

Like volleyball, it has six players to a side and three touches allowed, but the net is lower and players mostly sit on the floor. When Wright is on the court, she isn't thinking about disability.

Plus, at the gym, Wright found camaraderie. Her teammates, too, have their stories - like Samantha Bowen, a veteran who was injured while serving in Iraq. These teammates of yours, they understand.

"It's such a negative thing that happened in my life," Wright said. "But I've gained something so positive. It's a miracle in itself."

No one expects the British team to medal, they are relatively inexperienced.

But winning is a relative term - like luck.

Just ask No 7.

- AP

Read more on:    uk  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.