UK

Westminster Terror Attack Survivor Melissa Cochran Pictured In Hospital With Defiant Smile

'Getting stronger every day.'

31/03/2017 10:56 BST | Updated 31/03/2017 10:56 BST

A woman who was seriously injured and lost her husband in the Westminster terror attack has been pictured in hospital with a defiant smile on her face, surrounded by friends and family.

Melissa Cochran, 46, suffered a broken leg and rib and a cut to her head after Khalid Masood targeted pedestrians and a policeman during his rampage outside Parliament last Wednesday.

Among the four victims killed was Melissa’s husband, Kurt Cochran. The couple, from Utah, were on their final day of a trip to London to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when Masood swerved into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. 

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Melissa Cochran in a picture from a fundraising page which said she was 'getting stronger every day'

In a press conference given earlier this week, Melissa and Kurt’s families said he “loved” London so much he “felt like he was home”.

Photos were posted on a gofundme page set up to support Melissa following her husband’s death. In both she can be seen smiling.

In one image Melissa is standing with the help of her crutches with the caption: “Getting stronger every day.”

In another picture she is sat in a hospital bed, surrounded by friends and family while looking into her phone. That is captioned: “Talking with loved ones at home is some of the best medicine.”

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Surrounded by friends and family in hospital

More than 1,880 people have contributed to the gofundme page, resulting in more than $75,000 being raised.

Melissa’s brother Clint Payne said earlier this week: “This has been a humbling and difficult experience but we have felt the love of so many people during these past several days.

“It’s been a tender experience for our family to be together with Melissa here.”

Payne said his sister’s health was “steadily improving and she has been strengthened by the presence of her family”.

He added: “She is so grateful for the outpouring of love and generosity.

“They loved it here and Kurt immediately said that he felt like he was at home, so thank you for being such good people.”

The couple had been visiting Melissa’s parents, who were serving as missionaries in the London Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when they were caught up in the attack.

British-born Masood, 52, drove a rented Hyundai Tucson 4X4 at speed along Westminster Bridge in a rampage which lasted 82 seconds and resulted in four deaths. 

Speaking on Monday, Kurt and Melissa’s family said they were trying not to concern themselves with the attacker’s motives and the suggestion he carried out the attack in the name of religion.

The other three victims of Masood’s attack were Leslie Rhode, Aysha Frade and PC Keith Palmer.