She survived a terrorist attack and a bullet wound, and now Louisa Hope is sharing her extraordinary story to pay tribute to those real life guardian angels who work miracles every single day in our hospitals.
"I'll never forget the kindness the nurses showed me throughout my recovery," Louisa says. "When I came out the other side I was so astounded that I did not die, I was overwhelmed with gratitude."
And now Louisa, 54, is spearheading a new push to honour nurses, calling on all Australians to show those men and women on the front line how much we care through The Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation's new #POWHheroes campaign.
She is asking all Aussies to send a message of hope to our heroic nurses today – to mark International Nurses Day.
She credits surviving the Lindt siege attack in Sydney's Martin Place six years ago to the nurses who saved her life after she was shot, and has dedicated her time to giving back to the medical staff that helped her in her darkest hour.
Louisa, 54, and her mother Robin, 79, were trapped for hours, with Louisa used as a human shield by the gunman, until the Police Tactical Operations Unit stormed the café at 2.30am the following morning.
Both women made it out alive, when sadly Tori Johnson,34, and Katrina Dawson,38 did not make it.
"I remember seeing the gaping hole in my foot and asking the nurses if they'd have to amputate it, and she just chuckled and said she'd seen worse," she says.
"It put me at ease and allowed me to take a breath. I'll be forever thankful for that."
Spending three months recovering in Price of Wales Hospital she was determined to say thank you to those who helped her and established the Louisa Hope Fund for Nurses to try and turn her terrible experience into something positive.
"It's the greatest privilege in life to give back to others and even though I experienced something tragic I wanted to create some good from it," the Summer Hill resident says.
"Nurses have never been more important in our community than right now."
The fund, which has been her 'happy place' since the siege, has raised almost $145,000 to date, providing grants for equipment, education and research for nurses.
Today, Louisa is urging everyone to take a few moments to show you care by snapping a photograph of yourself with a message of support and posting it on social media with the hashtag #POWHheroes.
"Right now all we can do is clap, or send a kind message, but soon we can say a proper thankyou the way we want to and I can't wait for that," she says.
"We should all take the time to send some kind words to those working at hospitals so they know that we haven't forgotten their amazing effort for us."
To donate to support the Prince of Wales Hospital dedicated clinicians and staff, please visit www.powhf.org.au