THE DEVASTATED mum of the youngest victim of the London Bridge terror attack has revealed the horrifying moment she learned of her daughter’s death saying ‘I thought I was going to have a heart attack’.
Australian au pair Sara Zelenak, 21, had slipped over in her high heels running away from the terrorists on June 3, 2017.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain her parents Julie and Mark Wallace said she was the “happiest she’d ever been” and was on the “trip of a lifetime”.
She had arrived in Britain three months earlier.
After the attack Sara’s parents flew from Australia to London thinking she was a missing person.
However, during their stop-over at Abu Dhabi, their eldest son confirmed the devastating news she was dead.
‘I COULDN’T BREATHE’
Mrs Wallace said: “I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
“I was actually on the plane with my seatbelt on, I couldn’t breathe, I was just buckled over and I just went into shock.
“They wanted to get it on the Six O’Clock News so we were the last ones to find out in the world she’d died and it was really horrible circumstances to find out that way.
“It was horrendous. I felt like I was having a heart attack. It was terrible.”
She said they had been “counting the days” to see her and had booked to see her in Paris for a holiday reunion on June 30.
‘CAN’T DIE IN VAIN’
Mr Wallace added: “It took a long time [to find out she’d been caught up in the attack].
“The next morning, on Sunday, we were contacted by a friend to say there had been another attack.
“And for us it was just ‘well that’s something that happens on the other side of the world, it’s happened again’, but there was no thought of Sara ever being involved.
“Even to the point where things started to escalate for us in the next 24 hours there was always that thought that it couldn’t be Sara.”
The couple have now launched a charity to honour their daughter to help others overcome the loss of a loved one in traumatic circumstances.
Mr Wallace said: “Sara can’t die in vain…we need to find a positive out of what’s happened.”
Ms Zelenak was among eight people killed by terrorists Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, who drove their van at pedestrians before lashing out with 12in kitchen knives.
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The other fatalities in the June 2017 atrocity were Jamie McMullan, 32, Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.
Their killers were shot dead by police.
The inquest into the attack continues.