Family rescued from Christchurch attack reunited with hero who saved their lives

A young mother and baby who were rescued outside the Al Noor mosque during the Christchurch terror attacks have been reunited with the passing motorist who saved their lives.

It was an emotional moment for the pair, who were thrown together by pure chance as gunshots rang out across the mosque.

Majda El Hajji has been through a terrible ordeal. She narrowly escaped being shot, fleeing with her five-month-old baby in her arms as bullets flew all around her.

But in the panic there was a shining light - Christchurch woman Jennifer Paterson. On Wednesday they were reunited for the very first time, 13 days after the horrifying ordeal they both faced.

El Hajji was inside, in the women's room with her baby Huud, when the gunman attacked.

"Everyone was scared, everyone was preparing to die," she told Newshub.

Her baby, in the mosque for the very first time, was across the room from her.

"I see him crying but I can't hear his voice. I hear only shooting, his face is crying, crying, crying - and my mother, she is saving him," she says.

As El Hajji fled the scene with her baby in her arms, a woman next to her was shot. Paterson happened to be driving past at the same time.

"Something just clicked, and I knew I just had to go and get her," she told Newshub.

Ignoring the gunfire, she ushered El Hajji and her baby into her car with another two women and a boy driving them to safety.

"I wanted to protect her, I wanted to protect all of them if I could have, but you just can't."

El Hajji's husband Said Abdukadir made it out okay, but her father- in-law Elmi Abdukadir tragically was one of the 50 casualties.

The husband and wife are both grateful to Paterson that they have each other.

"I'm saying to her thank you so much, you are an amazing person," Abdukadir says.

A family saved by a true Kiwi hero, who put herself in the line of fire to rescuing and helping others during the terrorist attack.


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