Warning: This story contains a graphic first-hand account of the recent attacks on Paris.
Isobel Bowdery, 22, was one of the many people attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan venue in Paris, where 89 people were killed during terrorist attacks on November 13.
Now, more than half a million people have shared the Bowdery’s harrowing account of the events, which she posted on Facebook — along with a photo of the blood-spattered top she claims to have worn during the attack.
Here’s the photo. (You can read the full caption here.)
“It was just a Friday night at a rock show,” Bowdery wrote in the post. “The atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. And then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naively believed it was all part of the show.”
From there, Bowdery describes a heartbreaking scene.
“Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. in an instant,” Bowdery wrote.
Bowdery says she faked death in order to protect herself.
“Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless,” she wrote. “Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry — not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive.”
She also includes a message to the victims. Here’s that section of the post:
To the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren’t as lucky, who didn’t get to wake up today and to all the pain that their friends and families are going through. I am so sorry. There’s nothing that will fix the pain. I feel privileged to be there for their last breaths. And truly believing that I would join them, I promise that their last thoughts were not on the animals who caused all this. It was thinking of the people they loved.
Amidst the terror, Bowdery also describes incredible acts of kindness and bravery.
From Bowdery’s post:
To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst I whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy I loved was dead, to the injured man who I had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so I wouldn’t have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support – you make me believe this world has the potential to be better.
She ends her post with a simple, yet powerful message.
“Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people,” Bowdery concludes. “To live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil.”
Tech Insider has reached out to Bowdery for comment and will update this post if we hear back.