Emma Parkinson, the Tasmanian teenager who was injured in the Paris terror attacks, has undergone surgery in Paris overnight after being shot while attending a rock show at the Bataclan concert hall.
Speaking to the media on Sunday morning, Ms Parkinson’s aunt Sam Gunner said details were unclear but it appeared her niece had been shot several times in the hip.
She said the family had spoken to Ms Parkinson and she was in a stable condition.
“We are confident Emma will make a full recovery physically. Obviously there is quite a long road ahead for Emma mentally,” Ms Gunner said.
Ms Gunner described Ms Parkinson as a high achiever with a strong connection to France.
“She had been to France to study her Year 11 TCE on a scholarship,” Ms Gunner said.
“She has an interest in linguistics, she was fluent in French by that stage, having lived and studied for a year, so she decided to go to Germany and study German.
“She spent the last approximately 12 months in Germany but she is obviously always had a pull back to France. It is somewhere she has always loved so she had recently accepted a position doing tutoring in Paris and had moved there 10 days ago from Germany.”
Ms Gunner said the family’s priority was to fly Ms Parkinson’s mother to Paris to be with her. She said Ms Parkinson was scared and overwhelmed, but was well equipped to recover from her ordeal.
“Emma is a courageous and brave person at heart anyway,” she said.
“She is somebody who has a lust for life and … she certainly takes the bull by the horns when it comes to living her life.
“She has amazing capacity and resilience and we are confident that she will make a recovery but obviously she has an incredibly long road ahead of her in regards to what she has seen and what she’s heard and how she will cope with that into the future.”
She also thanked Australia’s ambassador to France, Stephen Brady, for his assistance.
“I can’t thank [ambassador] Stephen Brady enough for being our lifeline on the ground in Paris, for staying by Emma’s side and for staying in constant contact with our family,” Ms Gunner said.
“We are eternally grateful to him for going above and beyond in this circumstance.”
Ms Parkinson had been attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan concert hall when terrorists wearing suicide vests set off a number of explosions, killing 89 people in the vicinity.
Earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had spoken to Ms Parkinson over the phone, and said she was in “good spirits”.
“I spoke to her on the phone and did my best to cheer her up. I told her that we were all thinking of her, all of us,” he said.
“Every parent can sympathise with the thought that their child has been injured in an incident like this, and I have to say, she’s a brave girl and in all the circumstances, in good spirits.
“I think [ambassador] Stephen Brady’s company and my discussion with her cheered her up a bit, but nothing will equal how good she will feel when her mum arrives in a day or so.”