Greek-Australian Lou Bougias found himself in a position that no one ever wants to be in — he was on Bourke Street when Jim Gargasoulas ran his car into innocent by passers, killing several people and injuring many more.
There were many survivors of the attack who struggled to help the injured around them, and Lou’s story would have gone unknown to the general public if not for Henry Dow’s Facebook post which shared the story of how Lou sprung to action to help. The post was shared over 18,000 times, forcing the modest hero to come out into the lime light.
Henry Dow had some basic Surf Life Saving training which he was using to try to help save a women who had been badly injured when gunshots broke out. “Lou grabbed my hand and firmly told me to keep it together, that I was OK and that we needed to keep strong for this woman. In a level and loud voice, Lou barked orders at others,” Dow described.
“He [Lou] directed assistance to several of the victims laying on the pavement around us, all whilst keeping me calm and speaking lovingly to this woman: ‘I am Lou, you are going to be OK, we are looking after you’.”
After the story was shared so many times, Lou finally came out and explained to Fairfax Media “I saw three people flying through the air, I wasn’t worried about myself,” adding, “I was basically just trying to keep people calm and stabilized until the ambos turned up. I was thinking very clearly, I was talking to the victims, the coppers and everyone else who was trying to help. It was basically just a big team effort. I think it was just a matter of adrenaline.”
Lou thanked his military training that he had when he was a young man for preparing him for such an event. “I’m not a hero, I’m just a bloke who did what they had to do,” Lou said. “If I had stopped the car, fine. But at no point was my life in danger, so I’m not a hero.”