A female survivor of the 2017 London Bridge terror attack is walking herself back to physical and emotional health after receiving life-changing support from our inclusive exercise service.
Stepney Green-based Sister Catherine Msoni, 49, is now feeling confident enough to walk again mostly unaided with only occasional use of a stick thanks to the ‘inspirational’ exercise rehabilitation she’s been receiving from our Bow-based disability-specialist gym team.
Miss Msoni - who was waiting for a bus outside Southwark Cathedral at 9:45pm during the attack on Saturday 3 June 2017- was part of the terrorist incident where eight people were killed near London’s Borough Market.
Falling to her feet and injuring her lower legs after running from a white van involved in the attacks which hit a pole near the bus shelter she was standing by - leaving her with significant swelling, a greatly injured knee and being ‘hardly able to walk well’ following the attacks - Sister Catherine - who works for a London-based food bank - says she’s been left with vivid nightmares and flashbacks since the attacks.
Though since exercising at our rehabilitation service - which is inner London’s only remaining disabilities and long-term health conditions rehabilitation gym - Sister Catherine says she is now also able to gain much greater psychological strength since joining our centre (which is based at St Paul’s Church, St Stephen’s Road, Bow - adjacent to Roman Road Market).
“I do still have a lot of trauma related to the attacks, but since coming to Ability Bow, not only has my walking and mobility improved, my mental health has also really enhanced,” says Catherine, “and it feels so great to start recovering gradually again.
“I’m so grateful to have the chance and to relate to those at Ability Bow who’ve had similar frightening experiences and attacks and it’s helped me so much through the hard times.
“I was so depressed when I first arrived at Ability Bow and emotionally wounded after the London Bridge attack but attending the gym makes me feel so valuable and appreciated and thanks to staff like personal trainer Tony (Snook) and all of the gym’s members, I can proudly say I’ve been so supported through it all at this gym; thank you to Ability Bow.”
Joining Ability Bow in 2018 - which has helped more than 4,000 disabled people to exercise since forming in 2006 - Catherine has been able to benefit hugely from our wellbeing hub, which provides a range of specialist one-to-one exercise support for disabled people with conditions ranging from musculoskeletal challenges, Parkinson’s, to those with mental health diagnosis including depression and anxiety.
Victoria Kent, Ability Bow Director and Founder, says: “We’re so delighted Catherine has been able to gain so many personal positives at our gym considering she experienced such a harrowing attack only two years ago.
“We’re so grateful Catherine has been able to join in with what we call our life-changing community which offers wellbeing for all - including those with disabilities and long-term health conditions.
“We really could not be prouder of all of our gym member’s achievements - including Catherine’s - however big or small and we will do our utmost to continue to support disabled people to feel fitter and stronger for longer locally within east London.”
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