On July 7, 2005 I was a commuter travelling to work on the London Underground. I boarded the same carriage as Germaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers, who, unbeknown to me was on a mission to kill and maim as many people as he could. He wasn't deliberately targeting me, Gill Hicks, to him I was a representation of all he deemed to be wrong in the world, I was in his eye's 'the enemy'. How could I be his enemy when I didn't know him, how could he believe I was his enemy when he didn't know me, when he didn't know all those whose lives he took and whose lives he changed forever.
Miraculously I survived, but I was horribly injured and lost both my legs as a direct result of the blast.
That morning I was stripped of my identity, when the emergency services came to rescue me I was just a body with a faint pulse. These people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save someone whom was unidentifiable, to them it didn't matter if I was a man or a woman, it didn't matter if I was Muslim, Jewish, Christian or agnostic; it didn't matter if I was rich or poor, all that mattered was that I was a life, a precious human life that needed their help. I was admitted to hospital labelled literally as 'one unknown'.
I was saved many times by many people that day. It was due to their absolute dedication and sheer determination to keep me alive that I am here today - no one ever gave up on me, even when there seemed little hope, when my prospects looked very bleak, no one gave up. One medic who was crucial to my rescue said to me when we first met many months after the bombings, that I had reinforced his belief that 'where there is life, there is always hope'.
Both Joe and I have witnessed the power of humanity, the unconditional love that can be exchanged between strangers - and it is based on these real acts that we firmly belief that people can overcome conflict; that we all, each of us a "one unknown" can make a significant difference – Gill Hicks