LOUISE CHEATS DEATH IN LONDON
By ALEX EASTON
FORMER Lismore Herb Festival organiser Louise Barry is in plaster from her chest to her legs but in good spirits after miraculously surviving two bombs in London. Ms Barry, 29, is known around Lismore for her work building the Herb Festival between 2001 and 2003.
However, she has become known as the 'double miracle girl' after escaping one of last week's London bombings, only to be caught in another.
Ms Barry stepped off a train at Tavistock Square only moments before a bomb on it exploded, only to get on the only bus to be hit in the terrorist attacks.
While she heard the first blast, Ms Barry has been quoted in the UK press as saying she did not hear the bomb that put her in hospital.
"I didn't hear anything. At first I didn't know where I was or what had happened. I could just hear a whirring and buzzing in my ears," Ms Barry told media in London.
The explosion dropped the top level of the bus on top of her, cracking and crushing several vertebrae, threw shrapnel into her legs and burned her left arm.
She is now reported to be in hospital with plaster from her chest to her knees, and with boyfriend Dan Abbott by her side. She is expected to be able to walk again.
Friends in Lismore yesterday described Ms Barry as a vivacious and energetic woman whose spiritual outlook on life would get her through the trauma she had suffered.
Close friend and Lismore City Council Economic Development Unit executive officer Lois Kelly, who shared a unit with Ms Barry while she lived in Lismore, said she spoke to Mr Abbott yesterday and was told Ms Barry remained in good spirits.
Lismore Lantern Parade organiser Jyllie Jackson said Ms Barry had great reserves of inner strength that would help her through the shock of the attack.
"She has a really, really, really strong spiritual aspect to her," Ms Jackson said.
"There will be stuff she has to deal with because it was such an incredibly powerful, ghastly experience; but if anyone can do it and pull through it, she will."
Ms Barry left Lismore to work in Sydney after the 2003 Herb Festival, and had gone to London a little over a year ago with plans to travel through Europe.
Instead, she met her current boyfriend, Mr Abbott, and landed a job as a marketing agent for an environmental company. "She's a fantastic person," Ms Jackson said. "We send her all our love."