Woman pastor who survived London Bridge terror attack learns to walk again at Bow gym
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:28 27 August 2019
A woman evangelist who survived the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack is finally learning to walk again after treatment at a therapy gym in Bow.
Sister Catherine Msoni has been struggling to get back to physical and emotional health after being paralyzed when she was struck by a bus-stop shelter that collapsed after the terrorists crashed into it with a van.
The 49-year-old pastor from Stepney Green now feels confident enough to walk unaided after rehabilitation at Ability Bow gym in Old Ford.
"I still have a lot of trauma after the attack," she revealed.
"But my mobility and my mental health has improved since coming to the gym.
"I was depressed when I first arrived and emotionally 'wounded' after London Bridge.
"Now I feel valuable and appreciated. This has helped me through the hard times."
Her personal trainer Tony Snook and the gym's staff have supported her through the trauma and eventual recovery.
"I'm grateful to have the chance," she added. "It feels great to start recovering gradually again."
Yet Sister Catherine, who works for a food bank charity, has still been left with vivid nightmares and flashbacks from the London Bridge attacks.
She was waiting for a bus outside Southwark Cathedral when the June 3 attacks began near Borough Market in which eight people were killed.
Her lower legs were crushed as she tried to run when the terrorists ploughed the van into the bus-stop shelter.
The attack left her in shock and unable to walk, but two years on she has finally regained her physical and psychological strength after starting her therapy.
Ability Bow founder Victoria Kent said: "Sister Catherine has been able to gain so many personal positives after such a harrowing attack. She has been able to join our life-changing community."
Sister Catherine has been able to benefit from specialist one-to-one exercise designed to overcome some of the severest disabilities that people face, which include depression and anxiety as well as conditions like musculoskeletal challenges or Parkinson's.
The gym has helped 4,000 people since it opened in 2006 at St Paul's Old Ford parish church, behind Roman Road Market, and survived its own crisis after losing funding and now depending on public donations to keep going.