Katie Healy and David Nolan, the brave Irish couple who saved each other’s lives during the November attack at the Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris, have shared some exciting news: they are now engaged.
Katie shared the happy announcement on her Twitter account on Sunday.
This old thing???? �� pic.twitter.com/gg3gti8Wlq— Katie Healy (@whatkhdid) December 20, 2015
She and David, who has been in a wheelchair since returning to Ireland after the attack, also spoke to Sean Dunne of the Irish Daily Mail about their engagement and their experiences since the horrible massacre in which 89 people were killed.
The young couple had traveled to Paris for a romantic weekend celebrating Katie’s 28th birthday, and bought tickets to the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan on the night of November 13.
“I booked a trip to Paris for Katie, as a surprise for her birthday and it was all going lovely. We checked into our hotel and again there was a nice atmosphere in the city for that time of year,” David, 32, said.
He also recalled how impressed he and Katie were as they waited for the concert to begin by the range of ages among the audience members.
“I remember thinking: ‘I hope when I’m that age I’m cool enough to go to a gig like this,’” he said, regarding a man in his 60s.
Then, about an hour into the concert, gunfire erupted as three gunmen stormed the entrance.
Nolan detailed the confusion and panic that followed, and how he used his own body to protect Katie as the gunmen went around the dance floor shooting fallen victims one by one.
“I could smell the gunpowder in the air and even with those individual shots you could feel the reverb.
“We both felt at that point that the one [shot] is going to be us.
“We were, I won’t say making peace with it [death] but we were almost thinking, what it is going to be like when that shot hits you. We had said our goodbyes.”
“I even thought when I was on top of Katie that if they shoot me then maybe somehow if the bullet goes through me then it won’t go through Katie,” he said.
Healy has previously shared how at this point she said to David “This is it. I love you. Goodbye.”
“We were both face down at this stage so we could see the boots of the gunman walk literally within feet of us.
“Somehow the bullets never came and he never pointed the gun at us. He walked past us and went up to the left of us towards the bar area, where I think he fired more shots.
“He was just randomly shooting people who were already dead or dying. It was kind of around that moment that I saw a set of doors burst open to my left which would have been Katie’s right.”
He recalled how he only realized he had been shot in the foot once they decided to take the chance to flee through the doors that opened. It was Katie, he said, who dragged him to safety.
“We were shouting for help and I don’t think Katie was aware I was shot until we got outside. I was trying to run and Katie was trying to keep me running. She was amazing to get me somewhere safe.”
They were eventually ushered into an apartment building by some French people, one of whom, also called Katie, tended to his foot before he was taken to the hospital.
He suffered from significant blood loss until the bullet lodged in his foot was removed the following day. It left the bones in his foot shattered.
Now back in Ireland, David will spend the next six months in a wheelchair as his foot heals and he learns to walk again.
The young couple had to move out of the home they were sharing in Cork, as David moved back to his family’s home to receive rehabilitative care. He told the Daily Mail that his life has changed utterly, as he has been unable to return to his job as a quantity surveyor since the attack.
Goodbye Cork �� so upset to leave our lovely little home. A month ago today, our world was turned upside down. pic.twitter.com/prJu9XTSw4— Katie Healy (@whatkhdid) December 11, 2015
But the couple also expressed how lucky they feel to have survived. “We are really lucky that we are alive. It has been tough, but we know it could have been a whole lot worse,” he said.
‘It feels surreal. I have this kind of image of us lying on the floor rather than being here, but it’s only for a split second. It’s like something that you would see in a movie.”
David proposed to Katie this past weekend, during a quiet, romantic getaway to the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
“We are both very happy and looking forward to the next chapter of our life,” they said.
The couple will wait to tie the knot until David’s rehabilitation is complete.
We wish Katie and David every happiness.