Tunisia attack: Victim found 'hugging' husband's body after she was shot in the face wrote note to doctor asking for wedding ring back

Gina Van Dort was unable to speak when she regained consciousness in hospital but wrote a note to doctors asking for her wedding ring back

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The Independent Online

A British woman found "hugging" her husband's dead body after she was shot in the face in Tunisia wrote a note to doctors asking for her wedding ring back.

Doctors said that despite being unable to speak because of severe throat injuries, Gina Van Dort mustered the strength to write the note after regaining consciousness.

The 30-year-old is believed to be one of four patients returned to the UK by the RAF earlier this week for treatment at hospitals in Birmingham, Oxford, Plymouth and London.

Gina Van Dort was one of four injured British tourists brought back to the UK for treatment

Her husband, Chris Dyer, was among the 38 tourists massacred by gunman Seifeddine Rezgui in Sousse on Friday.

Ms Van Dort has reportedly lost an eye after being shot through the chin and face and has had several rounds of surgery.

A doctor who was the first to reach the couple told The Times they had been mowed down by Kalashnikov rounds as they ran for cover in gardens at the Imperial Marhaba hotel.

Dr Hajer Kraiem said Ms Van Dort was found “hugging” her husband’s body on the ground.

She added: “She didn't want to leave him. When we tried to bring her [to the ambulance] she held tighter. Maybe she didn't know he was dead.”

Chris Dyer, 32, was killed in the Tunisia massacre at the Imperial Marhaba hotel

The surveyor was conscious but unable to speak because of horrific injuries caused by a bullet that reportedly entered her chin and exited through her left eye, and shrapnel injuries possibly from a grenade.

Dr Kraiem told the Daily Mail that when she visited Ms Van Dort in hospital, she found the strength to write her a thank-you note that asked “bring me my ring”, which was returned by medical staff.

The couple, from Watford, were several days into their holiday at the Imperial Marhaba hotel and were seen touring a Roman amphitheatre and posing for smiling photos in images Mr Dyer posted on social media.

Just over two hours before he was killed, he shared a message exchange with a friend who said they were “jealous” of the holiday. “Still there until Wednesday,” Mr Dyer wrote with a smiley face. “Nice and relaxing.”

The post was made from the Imperial Marhaba hotel, according to Instagram’s location services.

One photo pictured its palm-fringed swimming pool, where Rezgui targeted Western tourists on his rampage.

A colleague commenting on an Instagram picture wrote that Mr Dyer looked "so happy to be going on holiday" when he left the office, adding: "You'll be missed."

The Watford Gracie Jiu-Jitsu club, which Mr Dyer was a member of despite having reactive arthritis, released a montage video of the engineer on its Facebook page, writing: “It is with great sorrow that we announce the tragic death of our teammate Chris Dyer as a result of the Tunisia shootings.

“Our hearts go out to his family. May he rest in peace."

The bodies of eight Britons killed in the Tunisian beach massacre arrived back in the UK this afternoon.

A military plane aircraft landed at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to repatriate Adrian Evans, Patrick Evans, Joel Richards, Carly Lovett, Stephen Mellor, John Stollery, and Denis and Elaine Thwaites.

David Cameron said the Government expects the British death toll “to rise still further” earlier today, when the naming of a couple from Yorkshire brought the total to 28.