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Thursday, November 13, 1997 Published at 14:54 GMT


Nursery nurse honoured for bravery

Lisa Potts..."proudest day of my life"

Lisa Potts, the former nursery nurse who shielded children from a man armed with a machete, has received the George medal from the Queen.

She was injured when she tried to protect children attending a teddy bears' picnic at St Luke's School in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, from a deranged man in July 1996.

Horrett Campbell, a local man with a history of mental health problems, was later ordered to be detained indefinitely in a secure hospital.

Three children and four adults suffered injuries, many of which led to permanent scars, but none died - a fact the school's headmistress put down to Miss Potts's heroic actions.
[ image: Lisa with some of the children she saved]
Lisa with some of the children she saved

In her citation for the medal - second only to the George Cross in terms of honours for civilians - it was said that Miss Potts, 22, had saved the children's lives despite being severely injured herself.

Miss Potts, who was one of a number of people being honoured at Buckingham Palace by The Queen, said afterwards: "She said she was so happy to give me this George Medal and she pinned it on me and asked me how the children were and how I was myself.

"All I could think of saying was `Thank you, your majesty'."

She said she could not believe she had been awarded the medal and added: "My family are very excited and very proud of me but I'm still the same Lisa Potts to them."

[ image: The George Medal]
The George Medal
She said her actions during the attack were purely instinctive, adding that the incident had completely changed her life. She said: "I am just so happy to be alive and to be here today. It was something I could never ever dream of doing."

Miss Potts, who was dubbed the Angel of St Lukes, went back to work briefly in January but has since given up her job in a bid to start a career in the media. She is also involved in a number of charities.

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