Daily Mail

Smiling through the pain, Westminste­r attack widow

- By Rebecca Camber Crime Correspond­ent

Smiling defiantly despite her injuries, this is the first picture of the Westminste­r Bridge attack survivor who lost her husband in the atrocity.

melissa Cochran, 46, was visiting london from the US with her husband Kurt, 54, on a trip to celebrate 25 years of marriage.

The couple, from Utah, were both hit by terrorist Khalid masood as he drove at 76mph through the crowds on the pavement in a bloody 82-second rampage.

Just minutes after, mrs Cochran was pictured on the ground with blood pouring from her head as a woman tried to comfort her. The photo of her surrounded by scattered postcards of the capital was one of the attack’s defining images.

Three other pedestrian­s were killed, including her husband, who died from multiple injuries after being thrown over the bridge on to a walkway beneath.

Yesterday mrs Cochran’s family said she was ‘getting stronger every day’, as they a released a series of photos showing her on crutches in hospital with her leg in a brace.

The deep gash she sustained on her forehead was still visible but the widow appeared to be recovering from a broken rib and leg.

mrs Cochran, who ran a recording studio with her husband, has been joined by her parents Dimmon and Sandra Payne and brother Clint.

The images of mrs Cochran were posted on a goFundme page which has raised more than £60,000 for her since the attack on Wednesday last week, which also saw the death of PC Keith Palmer.

Clint Payne said: ‘Her health is steadily improving and she has been strengthen­ed by the presence of her family. She is so grateful for the outpouring of love and generosity.’

Earlier this week, mr Payne said the days since the attack had been ‘humbling and difficult’ for the family, but they took comfort from the idea that mr Cochran focused on ‘the positive’ things in life.

‘Those of us who knew Kurt in life know that Kurt would not bear ill feelings towards any- one, and we can draw strength as a family from that,’ he said.

‘His whole life was an example of focusing on the positive ... not living our life in the negative. And that’s what we choose to do also.’

PC Palmer’s funeral will take place at Southwark Cathedral on April 10. Until then his body will lie at Westminste­r’s St mary Undercroft chapel – an honour normally reserved for heads of state. The father- of- one will be the first person to lie there since margaret Thatcher in 2013.

‘Getting stronger every day’

 ??  ?? Soldiering on: Mrs Cochran on crutches in hospital yesterday
Soldiering on: Mrs Cochran on crutches in hospital yesterday
 ??  ?? Victims: Kurt and Melissa Cochran were struck in the attack, right
Victims: Kurt and Melissa Cochran were struck in the attack, right
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