Standing up to terror
News of the World (London, England) - August 28, 2005
Author/Byline: Ross Hindley Section: Home news Page: 22
Brave Garri takes first steps since losingleg in 7/7 bomb ..and we're there with him
TODAY the News of the World is proud to bring you this stunning image of bravery and determination that defies the bombers who rained horror on London.
Taking his first steps since the 7/7 Tube train blast that ripped away his left leg, Garri Holness said: "If you hate them and let them get you down, then they win."
But that would make Garri a loser and-just seven weeks after he was dragged from the King's Cross wreckage-he proved he would never be that.
We watched in amazement as Garri, 36, lifted himself from his hospital bed, took his full weight on a pair of crutches and walked for the first time.
Then he grinned broadly and said: "I'm so proud that I can do this."
At first, the steps were short and wobbly but they took every ounce of determination and showed his spirit would not be broken by the terrorists.
After managing a brave 10 or so steps Garri eased back into his wheelchair, breathless but beaming.
And speaking from the depth of his lion heart he said: "I have no animosity towards the people who did this.
"If I sat here getting upset about it, or full of hate, then I would become very bitter and that would eat away at me. I do not want to be like that.
"By me being positive about things I am effectively saying 'Screw them'. I will not be beaten, I'm going to stand firm and get through it."
The pride on Garri's face reveals nothing of the horrors he suffered when fanatical Muslim terrorists attacked London transport, killing 52.
A memorial to the victims was unveiled at London's Victoria Embankment Gardens yesterday bearing the message: "Under this tree people of all faiths and nationalities, united in grief, laid wreaths in memory of those killed on 7 July 2005."
On that fateful morning, Garri could not board his usual Underground train at King's Cross.
He waited for the next train and was crammed inside the packed first carriage as it entered the tunnel and then erupted with a blinding flash.
Garri was blasted with shrapnel and thrown against the hand-rail pole he had been holding.
Doctors at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, had to remove his shattered left leg below the knee and his stump is swathed in bandages.
But upbeat Garri has added his own personal touch by drawing on the Nike trademark tick with a ballpen and joked: "I wonder if they will sponsor me for this?"
He added: "Before this happened I was very active and would go to the gym a lot and play a lot of sports.
"I will get back to that, there's no doubt. I'm not going to let this stop me."
He has daily physio and doctors are confident the advertising executive from East Croydon, south London, will eventually walk with a prosthetic limb.
But so far he has only been out of the hospital once-for the emotional journey to his mum's funeral.
She died without the family telling her Garri had been caught up in the terrible attacks on the capital. He said: "I really wanted to be there for Mum. I told doctors to ease up on treatment for a day or so so that I could make it.
"It was really difficult for me but I'm glad I did it."
One of the first things he'll do when he leaves hospital is go to see the new Elijah Wood movie Green Street, about West Ham United football hooligans in which he has a role as an extra.
The premiere was in London this week and Garri had a reserved seat but was too ill to attend.
"Filming was really good fun," he said. "Elijah is a great bloke and I had a really good time."
This week the Gunners fan was also sent a signed Arsenal football shirt and framed letter personally signed by manager Arsene Wenger.
"Before this happened I was a good footballer, probably somewhere between Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry," he joked.
"I wonder whether Mr Wenger would give me a trial for the Gunners now."
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