'You were my angel': A Bondi survivor has reunited with the veteran who saved her.

Liya Barko has been reunited with her anonymous rescuer, whom she now calls her real-life "superhero."

Upon seeing Barko being attacked, veteran and safety executive Wayne Tolver-Banks, clad in a green shirt, intervened just in time to save her life.  

Joel Cauchi, the assailant responsible for the tragic incident, claimed the lives of six individuals. Barko, 35, was among those also injured during the Bondi Junction attack, with the blade severing both her kidneys. 

Watch: Bondi victim Liya Barko reunites with her rescuer, Wayne Tolver-Banks. Post continues below.

Video via 9 News.

She narrowly avoided becoming the seventh victim, thanks to Tolver-Banks and his wife Michi, whose quick actions saved her.

This week marked the first reunion between Tolver-Banks and Barko since the events of April 13. Upon meeting, they shared several heartfelt hugs, bridging the gap since the traumatic attack.

Liya Barko shared several hugs with her rescuer, Wayne Tolver-Banks. Image: 9 News.


 "I am so happy to see you alive. It is so good," Tolver-Banks said in an interview shown on Channel 9.

He was surprised to learn of Barko's recovery, only discovering it after watching her recent interview with Nine News, where she expressed her desire to thank the tall, composed man in the green shirt.

Upon meeting, Barko extended her heartfelt thanks for saving her life. He humbly replied, "Thank you for living."

When questioned about his calm demeanour during the ordeal, Tolver-Banks, a health and safety executive at Mitsubishi, credited his military training for kicking in when it mattered most.

"It was tough, you could say I wasn’t ready for it, but I looked at you, and when I saw the man stab you, I said I have to help you because I didn’t want you to die," Tolver-Banks told Barko. 


Recalling the chaotic events, Barko described how everything unfolded rapidly.

"You were my angel appearing in the right place at the right time," she told him. "That was one of the reasons I stayed calm." 

She added, "All these movies with superheroes... after this situation, these are the superheroes we really need on our side... The people who can be with you when you suffer, taking care of you."

Barko also recalled Tolver-Banks' wife Michi giving her firm instruction to "not let go", even shaking her to keep her conscious as they awaited assistance from police and paramedics. 

She remembers Tolver-Banks calming other panicked shoppers, telling them, "If you scream, he knows where you are... he (Cauchi) can find you."

Barko is currently on an 18-month student visa in Australia, but her friends hope the federal government will consider her for permanent residency, calling her "brave, strong and intelligent."

Damien Guerot, dubbed the "Bollard man," a French national who bravely intervened during Cauchi's attack, has been granted permanent residency. Joining him in this status is Muhammad Taha, a Bondi security guard who was injured while trying to protect others. 

Allegra Spender, the independent federal MP for Wentworth, revealed that they had been actively championing Barko's case with Immigration Minister Andrew Giles.

"Liya is a very valued member of the community, and we all want to see her recovered and safely living here," she said.

Feature Image: Channel 9.