Australian nurse Kirsty Boden was not breathing or moving after being viciously stabbed in the London Bridge attacks, but an off-duty British doctor tried to save her anyway, an inquest has heard.
The 28-year-old, compatriot Sara Zelenak and six others were killed when Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba used a van to run down dozens of people on the bridge before stabbing dozens more with kitchen knives in the nearby Borough Market on June 3, 2017.
Doctor Saira Khan told the inquest into their deaths at the Old Bailey on Friday she had been at dinner with friends when they heard the van crash and saw people wildly fleeing, before thinking back to the earlier Westminster attack.
In the meantime, Ms Boden was stabbed by all three attackers while treating fellow victim Alexandre Pigeard, 26, who also died.
Dr Khan eventually walked outside to see the Australian lying on the ground, being attended to by friends Melanie Schroeder and Harriet Mooney and another man.
“She was still … her mouth was open … she was covered in blood,” the doctor said.
The GP believed Ms Boden “either dead or near death” but started to treat her, while the doctor’s friend rang emergency services.
Dr Khan tried to find Ms Boden’s pulse but struggled to do so as her own heart was pounding at the time. She then began CPR with the nurse’s friends doing the breaths and herself and the man sharing chest compressions.
Ms Boden was losing copious amounts of blood, but the doctor only saw a single stab wound to her arm.
Ms Khan said the nurse was trying to breathe, but her airway was clogged with blood and vomit and they didn’t have the necessary medical equipment.
Someone then handed the group some towels and aprons.
“We tried to use those to try and apply pressure to where we thought the bleeding was coming from,” she said.
After 10 cycles of CPR, Dr Khan said they still didn’t know if an ambulance was coming, and decided to make another assessment of Ms Boden.
The Australian wasn’t breathing, her pupils were fully dilated and she hadn’t moved.
Dr Khan thought she was dead, but her friend asked them to continue CPR regardless.
“I remember her asking if we could just carry on, so that’s what we did,” she said.
Dr Khan said they continued CPR “for a cycle or two” before they were told to leave the area by armed police. One officer took the GP to treat another man with a stab wound to his neck before she left the scene.
Canadian Christine Archibald, 30, Frenchmen Xavier Thomas, 45, Sebastian Belanger, 36, and Mr Pigeard, Briton James McMulln, 32, and 39-year-old Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria were also killed in the attack.
Thomas and Archibald were hit by the van, with the others stabbed to death.
Another 48 people were seriously wounded, while all three attackers were shot dead by police at the scene.