22 Mar 2018

Life after a terrorist attack

Two years after the Brussels attacks, Karen Northshield is still hospitalized; her injuries left her severely handicapped. On the second anniversary of the event, she looks back at her life since then.

Marjan Justaert
Marjan Justaert De Standaard, Belgium
Source: De Standaard
Life after a terrorist attack - NewsMavens
Karen Northshield. De Standaard

Why this story matters:

On 22 March 2016, three bombs went off in Brussels: two at the Zaventem airport and one in the central district of Malbeek. The attacks were carried off by three suicide bombers belonging to a Islamic State terrorist cell that was also involved in the 2015 Paris attacks.

Two years later, Brussels still mourns its victims. To honour the survivors' courage and remind the world of the human cost of such violence, De Standaard interviewed Karen Northshield. 

The 32-year-old still needs constant medical care. She was on her way to the US when a bomb went off and took her left hip. In a heart-wrenching interview, she says:

"I have to accept that my life has stopped."


Details from the story:

  • Karen Northshield, a 32-year-old Belgian-American woman, is a former swimming champion and yoga trainer.
  • She was at the airport to board a plane to the US when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive near her.
  • Initially, doctors feared she had no chance of surviving, but she fought very hard.
  • Today, two years later, her left hip is gone. She now has a large hole in her side.
  • A bacterial infection she caught in hospital meant that her stomach and spleen had to be removed. Her system is still fighting the infection, but she is constantly in pain.

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