Pictures released of Westminster attack victim in hospital

Melissa Cochran recovering from injuries after attack that killed her husband Kurt a day before they were due to fly home to US

The first pictures have been released of the widow of the Westminster terror attack victim Kurt Cochran recovering in hospital.

Melissa Cochran, 46, suffered multiple injuries and her 54-year-old husband was killed when Khalid Masood drove a 4x4 into them on Westminster Bridge in London on 22 March. The couple, from Utah, were sightseeing on the last day of a trip celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

On Thursday, Melissa’s brother Clint Payne posted two pictures of her smiling in a London hospital on a Gofundme page he set up to help provide an income to his sister during her recovery.

One showed her sitting up on a hospital bed looking at a mobile phone with the caption: “Talking with loved ones at home is some of the best medicine.”

A second picture showed Cochran, who is recovering from a broken leg, rib and head wounds sustained during the attack, standing with the help of crutches, with the caption: “Getting stronger every day.”

The couple had travelled to Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland before arriving in London, which was to be their last stop. They were scheduled to fly back to the United States on 23 March.

The couple were visiting Melissa’s parents, who are Mormon missionaries at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the capital. They were both self-employed, having built a recording studio, often donating their time and studio to local schools and other worthy causes.

Melissa Cochran with her parents in the London hospital.
Melissa Cochran with her parents in the London hospital. Photograph: Clint Payne/PA

Kurt died at the scene on the bridge. An inquest into the death of the four people killed by Masood, which opened and adjourned on Wednesday, heard that Kurt had died of multiple injuries.

Melissa Cochran.
Melissa Cochran. Photograph: Clint Payne/PA

In a statement at New Scotland Yard on Monday, Melissa’s family said they did not know the pair – believed to be among the first hit by Masood – had been caught up in the attack until they saw pictures on social media.

Westminster attack: we found out online our loved ones were victims

Payne said: “It’s been a tender experience for our family to be together with Melissa here. 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.“The most difficult part of all this is that Kurt is no longer with us and we miss him terribly. He was an amazing individual who loved everyone and tried to make the world a better place.”

The family declined to comment on their feelings towards Masood.

By Friday morning, the fundraising page had raised $75,229 (£60,000), 50% more than the initial target of $50,000.


Haroon Siddique

The GuardianTramp

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