An Australian victim of the Nice attacks sees her savior again

Adelaide Stratton, a young 22-year-old Australian was on a trip to Nice, France, on July 14th, 2016. Her stay in France was supposed to be as vibrant as the fireworks on this national holiday in France. Instead, it ended up being a bloodbath. But not just that.

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She’s at a pool party with the three friends she is traveling with, when the group decides to go to "la promenade des Anglais", the main promenade by the sea in order to see the fireworks. They don't know that they are about to disembark into hell.

Facebook/Sunday Night

Adelaide and her friend, Marcus, had just gotten off the bus when the truck hit both of them as the terrorist carved his deadly path. The truck crushes the base of her head and mars half of her right leg.

Adelaide has difficulty remembering what happened exactly. The screams…the panic…the blood…lots of blood…and then nothing.

Facebook/Sunday Night

When she wakes up ten meters further along, a man is holding her hand and talking to her in comforting way in a language she doesn't understand. The man is Patrick, a 40-year old local.

“The truck missed us and I went to see if I could help people maybe still alive. (...) She gripped my hand strongly I was both sad and happy to see someone was alive," explains Patrick.

Facebook/Sunday Night

Amongst the screams and people running in all directions, Patrick blocks the dead bodies around her from her view. The young woman clings to his hand and looks to the comforting face. Patrick doesn't leave Adelaide's side until it is all over. She clings to him saying “please don’t leave”.

Facebook/Sunday Night

He takes her to the lobby of the Negresco Hotel until the emergency medical services arrive and also accompanies her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Facebook/Sunday Night

In addition to the crushed base of her head, which should have killed or paralyzed her, she also has a vivid scar which crosses her forehead, internal cranial injuries, and the ferocious burn from being dragged by the truck which mars half of her right leg.

Facebook/Sunday Night

Patrick visits her every day at the hospital until her parents arrive from Australia.

Her head swathed in bandages, face injuries shielded with sunglasses, and clearly under the influence of strong painkillers, she manages to keep her spirits up.

But once the parents are there, Patrick leaves her to be alone with her family. They lose touch. Once she’s able to travel again, Adelaide returns back home to Australia.

The Australian program, Sunday Night, has been following Adelaide's recovery and decides to surprise the young woman. They organize the reunion between the Australian and her French savior!

Patrick, who didn’t think he would ever see Adelaide again, disembarks in Sydney. The plan is for Adelaide and her family to be having lunch at the pizza place and when she least expects it, her hero will make an appearance!

The young woman doesn’t suspect a thing. And when she sees Patrick, she's in shock! She can’t believe her eyes. “What are you doing here?” and when she realizes what’s happening, she says, “You’re crazy!”. Emotions run high and she tells him that he is the bravest man she’s ever met. “It’s incredible! I didn’t think I would ever see him again!”.

She doesn’t know how to thank her savior. “How do you thank someone who saved your life?”.

She’s told about the story of the terrorist who killed 46 people and injured 400 others that evening back in France. But for Adelaide, it’s not about him. 

“My story isn’t about him or what he did”, she claims. “It’s about Patrick and how people helped. My story is about love and helping others and the beautiful things that can come from the terrible”.

Facebook/Sunday Night

Being constantly exposed to the horrors of the world, it’s easy to be drawn into a downward spiral of negativity. Changing the world is not about killing terrorists or insulting the “bad-minded” people. It’s about all these little acts of kindness, that make such a big difference in another person’s life.

We could get discouraged in this life because we’ll never be able to get rid of all the bad in the world. But we forget that changing the life or even the day of just one person already makes such a huge difference.

Here's Adelaide's story on video:

The Frenchman and the Australian have experienced such awful moments together that it's too hard for them to even describe them. It was such a unreal event to see each other again after what happened! By holding a stranger’s hand, Patrick had changed her life. He understood this power, that any one of possesses and which always prevails over evil.


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