A BACP member has been reunited in a transatlantic call with the off-duty police officer whose life he helped save during a mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Now Tony Dumbleton, a firefighter and counsellor from Warwickshire, hopes to return to the US to meet Sheriff Andrew Dahring face to face.
Tony was on holiday when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival, killing 59 people and injuring hundreds more.
Tony took a lead role in helping the injured including Andrew, who walked into the lobby of the hotel in which Tony was staying with a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Tony’s story has been followed by a number of media outlets, including BBC CWR, his local BBC radio station, who tracked down Andrew and reunited them on-air.
Tony, who has had counselling to help him process the trauma and look at the effects on his personal life, said: “It was hugely emotional.
“After Andrew was put into the ambulance I didn’t know what happened to him. I didn’t know anything about him.
“To hear that he was okay, and to hear about his life, that he was a grandad, it was all a bit overwhelming.
“It has definitely helped to know that he was okay but it has opened up much more speaking to him, and for him as well.
“There is lots more to piece together for both of us and a lot of that has to be done privately. I am hoping to go to America to meet him again.”
Tony has arranged to see two BACP therapists since the shooting, one to help process the trauma using eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), the other for person-centred therapy to look at the effects on his personal life.
“I will still get emotional sometimes but I've accepted that that is okay,” he said. “I could not have done it without counselling, my family and close friends.”
To find a BACP counsellor in your area who can help with trauma, visit our Therapist directory.
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