London Bridge attack latest: Islamic State claim responsibility as first victim named as Chrissy Archibald

5 Jun

John Pearlman in Sydney reports

A 31-year-old Australian who was stabbed in the neck after finishing her shift as a waitress in Borough Market has been unable to speak but gave a thumbs up to her mother from hospital and wrote: “Bit of pain but I will survive.”

Candice Hedge, one of two Australians caught up in the attack on Saturday night, was dining with her boyfriend – and co-worker – at the bar of Elliot’s restaurant, where the pair had just completed their shifts. He heard some commotion and ran outside, only to return to find Ms Hedge clutching her bleeding neck.

She was unable to speak after surgery but later wrote on Facebook: “I’m doing OK. Still in hospital, but all in the clear. I really can’t talk. The f—– stabbed me in the neck. Don’t worry too much. I love you all.”

Kim Del Toro, Ms Hedge’s mother, said her daughter made contact via Skype and gave a “thumbs up”.

“She can’t talk. She’s been stabbed around her neck, her throat. She’s all bandaged up,” Ms Del Toro  told Fairfax Media.

“She went into surgery, but she’s going to be fine, thank goodness. She couldn’t speak, but I got to see her and she gave me the thumbs up, so I knew that she was OK.”

Ms Hedge, from Brisbane, has been living in London on a working holiday for almost 12 months.

Brian Hedge, her grandfather, said she tried to hide during the attack but was spotted by one of the terrorists who stabbed her in the throat.

She was in the market area and apparently she was hiding when one of them saw her and stabbed her in the neck,” he told Fairfax Media.

 She’s a really nice girl. It’s unbelievable.

Ms Hedge is recovering at St Thomas’ Hospital and has made contact with family and friends. She was apparently in good spirits and claimed that the knife missed her windpipe.

She reportedly wrote in another message to her friends and family on Facebook: “Hey everyone, just so you know I’m doing ok. Bit of pain but I will survive. Thanks for your thoughts and well wishes. Love to all.”

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, said officials were still making inquiries about the other Australian believed to have been injured in the attack.

“This attack is yet another cruel example of the new reality with which we live, the ever present threat of murderous Islamist terrorists, intent to harm our communities, our way of life and the freedoms we hold dear,” he said.

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