Nurse awarded medal for her bravery in Co-op knife attack

Lisa Way was presented with the Queen’s Gallantry Medal after she and two others tried to disarm a woman during an attack in a supermarket

Lisa Way was presented with the Queen’s Gallantry Medal after she and two others tried to disarm a woman during an attack in a supermarket

The Prince of Wales puts his hand on Lisa Way's shoulder, congratulating her on her Queen's Gallantry Medal during a ceremony at WIndsor
Lisa Way is decorated with the Queen's Gallantry Medal by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A nurse who was stabbed while stepping in to prevent a knife attack has been awarded a medal for bravery.

Lisa Way was one of three people who confronted a woman who was wielding a knife in a Co-op in Penygraig, South Wales in May 2020.

Prince of Wales presented the medal at a ceremony at Windsor Castle

John Rees, who was killed in the attack, and Ayette Bounouri also stepped in to try to subdue the woman.

All three were awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal – the last three to be approved by the late Queen Elizabeth II – at a ceremony at Windsor Castle on 4 October. The medal is awarded for exemplary acts of bravery.

Ms Way, who works at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, was presented her medal by the Prince of Wales. She said she was honoured to receive the award.

Lisa Way with her Queen's Gallantry Medal

‘Although the award is tainted by sadness from the death of Mr Rees, it is amazing to be recognised for what happened during that awful day,’ she said. ‘Today has been emotional, but it has been a wonderful experience.’

Man who was killed during the attack awarded posthumous medal

Ms Way was in the Co-op store when Zara Radcliffe, who has schizophrenia, entered the store and began trying to stab people with a knife. Mr Rees was at the shop counter when he intervened by grabbing Radcliffe’s arm and placing himself between her and another customer, Gaynor Saurin, also a nurse.

During the struggle he lost his balance and fell backwards. Ms Way and Ms Bounouri stepped in to help. Ms Way grabbed the woman’s arm, holding the knife, while Ms Bounouri tried to disarm her with a shopping basket.

While Ms Way continued to grapple with Radcliffe, Ms Bounouri tried to drag Mr Rees out of harm’s way, but he was unable to get up. The attacker then turned her attention to Ms Way, trying to stab her several times on her upper body, and she was stabbed during the attack.

Mr Rees suffered fatal injuries and died trying to protect people in the shop.

The three were among a number of people to receive honours at the Windsor Castle ceremony, including North West Ambulance Service deputy chief executive Salman Desai, whose 25-year service has included providing emergency care at the Cumbria mass shootings in 2010 and the floods of 2009.

Radcliffe later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was detained indefinitely under Sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act.

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