Millie is my beautiful teenage daughter and like most parents I would do absolutely ANYTHING to keep her safe…
However, on 26th June 2015 in Tunisia…I was unable to keep her safe from a terrorist attack. It was a lovely day and we were enjoying our family holiday at the Imperial Marhaba Resort.
Never thinking that our lives would be changed forever on that fateful day!
Never would we ever imagine that a terrorist, armed with a Kalashnikov would murder innocent people at a holiday destination...shooting everyone in sight and throwing hand grenades at us around the pool area.
In the carnage, I was separated from my darling daughter and husband Paul, witnessing death and injury as I ran to find them and seek shelter. Whilst in hiding in the gift shop, the noise of the gunfire and explosions were terrifying.
This murderous attack carried on for 45 minutes and I had no idea where my husband and daughter were, if they were together or if they were safe, injured or worse.
My first encounter while searching were of dead bodies, now thinking the worst...then I saw Paul but Millie was nowhere to be seen…my heart sank and the worst feelings of dread engulfed me, we searched again…eventually Millie appeared with others, her feet covered in blood...sadly it belonged to people who had been murdered, there was no way of her avoiding them in the confined space of the corridor. Thankfully, other than hearing damage, physically she was ok.
Millie was in a staff area but the terrorist followed, chased, shooting and throwing hand grenades…she found a room with other people, but witnessed others being murdered…
Millie was only 15! Alone being chased by an armed terrorist, killing everyone he could, in a foreign country unable to find her family and as she curled up in a ball…she prepared herself to die and hoped it would be over quick!!
I hope, that YOU or anyone you know will never have to write this story about your young son or daughter.
I’m sure you can imagine, Millie has suffered…and suffered terribly with recurring nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, fear of loud noises. The screams and gunfire still haunt her.
Millie is severely affected by PTSD, it’s a debilitating disorder and unfortunately there was not much help for a 15-year old and she has lost over 2 years of her education at a crucial point in her life…but Millie is a remarkable young lady and was determined to sit her GCSE exams in 2016, passed them and is now doing A levels.
The treatment available suitable for Millie is private as there is no NHS funded treatment.
After many months of searching for help, I found a charity who helped Millie tremendously, called Strength to Strength, Millie went to New York on their Young Ambassadors Program which put her in touch with other young people who are also victims of terrorism from all over the world...it was a turning point and Millie would like to further her education in the USA.
Millie has been accepted into 5 universities in New York studying Media, which will also allow her to be near Strength to Strength and offer support to other survivors of attacks whilst getting the support she still needs.
HOW CAN YOU HELP MILLIE?
Millie wants to ensure her life is not about the horrific event she went through, but to use that to focus her determination to achieve making a successful career, improve her life chances and help others who have been through similar experiences.
Millie has excelled in her education despite the tough times she has been through. Since then, she has created a blog, is a leader at Rainbows, is training at a local radio station, is working with RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network) in Amsterdam, attending events throughout Europe to help practitioners from all EU member states, worked with Counter Terrorism, raised money for Victim Support and has secured a place at university…almost 3 years ago I imagined for what seemed like hours that I would never see my beautiful daughter ever again…and now I am the proudest mother ever, sadly as a family we are unable financially to help Millie fulfil her dream of going to university in the USA and UK government student loans are only available if she studies within the UK.
I am asking you if you would help to make a difference to my daughters’ life and help towards her further education…YOU in return will see the fulfilment of a dream for a beautiful young lady who we are so grateful survived that day. We need 10 companies to donate/invest £2k which would cover 1 years’ worth of tuition and living expenses, would you be one of those 10 donors? Or of course any amount you are willing to donate?
All I can say is a big thank you for reading Millie’s story and I hope that you would consider helping her and in return she will be part of your future.
Zoe Thompson (Millie’s Mum)
Nexsis Comms Ltd.