Belgian victim testifies for the first time 2 years after the terrorist act in New York: ‘I want and I have to move forward’

“I was hit with my family by a terrorist in New York when we were cycling,” said Van Reeth, who was on a city trip in New York in October 2017. The Belgian woman lost both legs. Now she practices with prostheses three times a week. “Unfortunately, because of this I have to continue to rehabilitate and that will be the case until the end of my life, but yes… I want to continue.”

Meanwhile, Van Reeth again drives the car herself, a symbol of freedom for her. She lifts herself and her wheelchair into the car with an aid. “It takes some time, but it’s fantastic that it’s possible. Otherwise you have to have help every time to carry that chair in it. It all offers more independence,” she says. In the car she can accelerate and brake with her hands.

“I had colleagues who came to pick me up in the morning and also very kindly brought me home after work. Or family or friends, but that was always a puzzle,” it sounds. When asked if she has her freedom back, Van Reeth answers: “Not completely, but partly.” She deliberately does not talk about the attack itself. “I only look ahead and I think that’s how you get further. Otherwise you will be stuck in the past. I want to and I have to move forward.”

Her husband is also still recovering. He suffered brain trauma in the attack. Eight people were killed in the terrorist act.

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