Earlier this month, Australia was rocked by a rare episode of terrorism when a hostage siege in Sydney came to an end after police rescued hostages from a local cafe.
Tori Johnson, 34, and Katrina Dawson, 38, were killed during the terrorist siege at Sydney’s Lindt cafe. Julie Taylor, 38, was getting coffee with Katrina Dawson in the Lindt cafe when Man Haron Monis launched his fatal attack. Taylor attempted to shield her pregnant friend to save her and her unborn baby.
“She had been getting coffee with pregnant Julie Taylor when Man Haron Monis entered the building – and later admirably shielded her friend from bullets,” one newspaper reported. “It was not clear whether Mrs Dawson was shot or what other injuries, if any, she sustained in the shocking incident.”
Now, Taylor is paying tribute to her friend. Taylor revealed her unborn baby remains healthy and was unharmed by this week’s crisis and she penned an emotional statement about this week’s tragic events. She paid tribute to her late friend Katrina Dawson as “the most wonderful person I have ever met.”
Here’s what she wrote:
Although words cannot describe the events of the last few days and the feelings that I have towards the survivors and victims of the Martin Place siege, there are a few things I would like to say.
Katrina Dawson was the most wonderful person I have ever met. She was my closest friend, a role model and confidant. Her bravery and strength was, and continues to be, a comfort and inspiration for me. She invested every moment of her life in her friends and family, and will be greatly missed by everyone who has known her. My thoughts and sympathy are with her family, whom I have come to know and love.
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I would like to pay tribute to Tori Johnson. Although our acquaintance was forged under the worst imaginable circumstnaces, I feel privileged to have known you and I will always remember you as a kind, considerate, level-headed and courageous person. It was clear to me how much you loved your family, and how much compassion you had for everyone you met. I am grateful that you were with my throughout our ordeal.
It is difficult to be positive at a time like this, but there are two things which provide comfort to me. The first is the overwhelming display of public support for everyone involved in this crisis, including me. My own visit to the Memorial at Martin Place gave me a strength for the coming weeks which I thought that I might not have, as have the messages and kindnesses that have been sent to me by everyone I know and many I don’t. It is good to know that none of us is alone.
Finally, my husband and I have been told that our unborn baby is healthy and unharmed by this crisis. If all goes well, and there is no reason to think that it won’t, we will give birth to a precious baby in a few months. Although it is an emotional time, we are trying to keep ourselves healthy so that can occur.
I thank members of the media for their respect of our privacy in this difficult time, and ask that you continue to do so.