Remember the proverbial Cat with nine lives? Oh yeah, here, meet the literal one, Mr. Matthew, who has fatefully survived two grueling and heavilly fatal terrorists attacks in his lifetime.
An American man who ran for his life ‘through half of Manhattan’ when terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre in 2001 has survived another massacre after being shot during the assault on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
The 36-year-old man, who has only been identified as Matthew, managed to crawl to safety despite having been shot in the leg by ISIS militants who stormed the Eagles of Death Metal concert and massacred 89 people.
On hearing gunshots, which unlike many others, he recognised instantly – ‘Perhaps it’s my American culture’, he said – he ran for the exit.
But he was shot in the calf and fell, surrounded by bodies.
Slowly, he managed to inch towards safety each time the attackers reloaded their Kalashnikovs.
He said: ‘I inched forward centimetre by centimetre. At one point, I saw the ledge of the exit at arm’s reach. I was able to grip it with one finger, then the other.
As he emerged from the hall, and collapsed exhausted onto the street, he was rescued by Le Monde journalist, Daniel Psenny, who had been filming the attack from his flat across the street.
Mr Psenny had already caught footage of a pregnant woman trying to escape the carnage, and had first started filming without knowing what had happened.
Thinking the shooting was over, Mr Psenny opened his front door and spotted Matthew lying on the pavement. He ran over to help him and with the help of another man dressed in black, dragged him to his apartment.
I was playing dead,’ Matthew told Le Monde. ‘When I felt someone dragging me by the arms, I didn’t even look up. I said, or at least in my head – ‘I love you, my angel,’ he said.
But just as Mr Psenny was dragging Matthew through the doorway of his building, he was shot in the upper arm.
‘I felt something warm running down me,’ said Matthew, ‘then I heard bad words, and again, shots.’
Mr Psenny said he was in regular contact by phone with colleagues, police, and firefighters, but the area had been cordoned off and they were trapped
The two men relied on neighbours and the advice of a doctor over the phone to stem their bleeding.
‘The bleeding wouldn’t stop. Matthew was very pale and vomiting, but we never lost consciousness,’ Mr Psenny said.
Having lost his phone inside the concert hall, it took Matthew two hours to remember his wife’s phone number, who had by chance stayed at home to look after their two children as they had been unable to find a babysitter.
Amazingly, the pair were reunited in hospital and were being treated just three rooms apart and on seeing each other promised to share ‘a glass, if not a bottle’, once they had fully recovered.
However, it was not the first time that Matthew had escaped from a terrorist attack.
He was at the foot of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on his way to a meeting when the first plane struck the North Tower on September 11, 2001.
‘I sprinted across half of Manhattan,’ he said. ‘But what I went through in the Bataclan was 1,000 times worse,’ he said
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