Felixstowe woman Allison Heathcote can only ‘vaguely recall’ Tunisian beach attack massacre

Allison Heathcote and son James Heathcote at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where she was tre

Allison Heathcote and son James Heathcote at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where she was treated after being shot five times in the Tunisia terror attacks. - Credit: PA

A Felixstowe woman who was fighting for her life after the Tunisia beach attack in which her husband was killed has said she can only “vaguely recall” the massacre.

Allison and Philip Heathcote.

Allison and Philip Heathcote. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Allison Heathcote had been celebrating her 30th anniversary with Philip, 52, in Sousse when they were caught up in the mass shooting which killed 30 Britons in June.

The 48-year-old, who was shot five times including in the stomach and shoulder, was airlifted to RAF Brize Norton and treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was put in an induced coma.

But now she is continuing her rehabilitation closer to home after being transferred to Ipswich Hospital.

She said: “It’s the start of a long journey and I just want to concentrate on my rehabilitation.

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“At the moment I don’t remember everything about what happened in Tunisia. I recall being there on holiday with my husband Phil and then waking up in hospital here – but not too much in between. I can only vaguely recall parts at this stage.

“Here in the hospital I have been supported hugely by my family, who have been at my bedside from day one. They’ve distracted me by talking about the new kitchen they are working on at my house. My husband Phil and I had been planning it – it was the next project for the two of us so I’m completing it for him. We hadn’t had a new kitchen in 30 years and the family have taken it on while I’ve been in Birmingham so it will be completed by the time I eventually get home.

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“I am pleased to be going closer to home after spending the past couple of months in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”

Sir Keith Porter, professor of clinical traumatology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said Mrs Heathcote was making “great progress”.

He said: “Allison has had staged surgery to both fix and reconstruct the gunshot wounds to her right arm. She has also undergone a number of abdominal operations for which she needs ongoing treatment, so she will be returning here for outpatient appointments.

“We applaud her courage and the immeasurable support from her family and would like to say that it has been a privilege to treat her.”

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