‘I’m lucky to be alive’: Aussie victim unveils horror of Nice terror attack

Adelaide Stratton, 22, has described her recovery from the attack in July which left her with 50 stiches across her body and a searing burn covering her right leg.

She also suffered a shattered bone at the base of her skull, which could have caused paralysis and even sometimes be fatal.

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“I am so lucky to be alive and so happy to be alive. I don’t like to think about what could have been,” Adelaide told Sunday Night.

Prior to the horrific attack, Adelaide – alongside fellow Aussie travellers Chiara Ronzel, Bridget De Jong and Marcus Anderson – were enjoying France’s iconic Bastille Day celebrations.

When Marcus and Adelaide became separated from Chiara and Bridget, they boarded a bus which took them to the centre of the attack zone.

Terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel then drove through scores of people on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, eventually killing 86 people and injuring 300, with Stratton being hit and dragged along by the truck.

Despite the shocking nature of the ordeal, Stratton has limited memory of the ordeal.

“I heard absolutely nothing,” Adelaide said of the truck approaching. “I was to Marcus’s right. We were walking along. And then, nothing.”

After being hit, with Marcus debilitated by his injuries, Adelaide was assisted by local man Patrick, who held her hand and even accompanied her to hospital.

Adelaide described how the assistance from the unassuming French man saved her life.

“I remember being really scared. There was a stranger holding my hand, I was lying on the ground in pain with … blood dripping down my face,” Adelaide said.

“I didn’t know where Marcus was, [and] didn’t know where my friends were.”

At first Adelaide could only remember minor details about the stranger who came to her rescue.

“I just remember his face and his hair, his long hair coming over,” she said.

“I kind of knew he couldn’t speak English … he was just looking at me and squeezing my hand right back.

“Patrick is … the bravest man I've ever met. Who does that? What kind of person does that?” Adelaide said.

Adelaide said she thinks nothing of the terrorist who caused the carnage, insisting that the kindness of Patrick is what matters.

“My story is about Patrick and how people helped me. My story isn’t about what he [Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel] did,” Adelaide said.

“My story is about helping others. The beautiful things that can come from the terrible.”

As she recovered in hospital in France, Adelaide was eventually joined by her mother Chantelle.

However, adding to the distress of the situation, Chantelle was also suffering an MS attack as she attempted to care for her daughter.

When Adelaide was eventually well enough to fly back to Sydney, both her and her mother did so in wheelchairs due to the severity of Chantelle’s MS inflammation.

The emotional Sunday Night report was also presented by Chris Bath who counts Chantelle as one of her best friends, while Adelaide was her son’s babysitter.

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