Woman Claims She Played Dead in Paris Concert Hall During Deadly Attacks: 'I Envisioned Every Face That I Have Ever Loved'
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In the chaos, gunfire and bloodshed that filled a Paris concert hall Friday night, during a string of terror attacks, one woman said she witnessed several things: a couple exchanging their “last words of love,” a man who covered her from view of the gunmen while she cried – and the police, who rescued so many.
All of this Isobel Bowdery recounted in a Facebook post published Saturday morning, in which she said she was a witness to the attacks and successfully played dead.
The post has since gone viral, with more than half a million shares.
Bowdery is a 22-year-old from Cape Town, South Africa, BuzzFeed reports.
Her post is accompanied by a photo of a bloody top, which she said she was wearing while attending a concert at the Bataclan – the site of the bloodiest violence that night, which in total left at least 129 dead, officials said.
(PEOPLE has reached out to Bowdery, but did not immediately receive a response.)
“you never think it will happen to you,” she began in her post. “It was just a friday night at a rock show. the atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. and then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naively believed it was all part of the show.
“It wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre.”
“Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless,” Bowdery continued. “Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see.”
The carnage in the Bataclan was immense, she wrote, describing the gunmen as “meticulous” in their rampage “without any consideration for human life.”
“Dozens of people were shot right in front of me,” she wrote. “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.”
But much of Bowdery’s post also focused on who she called the “heroes” from that night: A friend who offered shelter and new clothes, strangers who picked her up from the street – and others.
“but most of this is to the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren’t as lucky, who didn’t get to wake up today and to all the pain that their friends and families are going through,” Bowdery wrote, adding that she felt privileged “to be there for their last breaths.”
She said that their last thoughts “were not on the animals who caused all this.”
“It was thinking of the people they loved,” she wrote – just as hers were in those moments on the venue floor.
“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.”