Man Who Shielded Fiancée From Gunfire In Tunisia Is On Road To Recovery

A father absorbed several gunshots to protect his fiancée when a gunman attacked a beach resort in Tunisia on Friday.

Matthew James, 30, and his fiancée, Sarea Wilson, 26, set out for a two-week vacation at the Bellevue Hotel in Sousse on June 21, leaving behind two children: 14-month-old Kaden and 6-year-old Tegan.

According to Daily Mail, the couple was relaxing on the beach in front of the Mediterranean when the attack started. CNN reports the attacker was 24-year-old Saif Al-Deen Al Rezgui.

James immediately used his body to shield Wilson and was consequently shot three times in the stomach, shattering his pelvis.

Describing the chaotic event, Wilson reportedly said,

Matthew put himself in front of me then he was hit, he moved and the man shot him again. Again he tried to move and he was shot again. He was shouting and blood was pouring out all over...We were down on the floor next to the sunbeds to shelter but the shots just kept on coming. He just told me to go, to look after our kids and that he loved me.

Wilson went back to the hotel and hid in a cupboard.

When the noise died down, she emerged and asked around for James.

She said,

I kept on speaking to people and after about two hours somebody handed me a phone to say, 'I have a very grumpy man on the phone who won't do anything until he has spoken to you.' It was Matthew and that was the first time I knew he was alive. He just told me he loved me and that he has had an operation to save his life.

In addition to shattering his pelvis, James suffered a heart attack. But as of June 28, he is recovering in the hospital.

Though the language barrier makes communication with hospital workers difficult, Wilson is optimistic about her future husband's condition.

The two plan to marry in the summer of 2017.

CNN reports the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack that took at least 38 lives and injured at least 39 more.

Citations: Hero British father was shot three times shielding fiance from bullets (Daily Mail), Tourists flee Tunisia after resort attack (CNN)