A survivor of the Dunblane massacre has revealed she is due to give birth on the 25th anniversary of the day Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children at their school.
Amy Bestwick, 33, was aged just eight when Hamilton, 43, killed the children and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School, in Stirling, Scotland, after bursting into the gym hall with four legally held handguns.
Ms Bestwick feared she would never get over the trauma of what she witnessed on March 13, 1996.
She survived after she hid under a teacher’s desk and watched as bullets flew through a window just metres from her.
But now, after undergoing eye movement therapy to help deal with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) caused by the memories, Ms Bestwick is set to give birth next month on March 13.
Amy Bestwick, 33, a survivor of the Dunblane massacre, has revealed she is due to give birth on the 25th anniversary of the day Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children at their school
Ms Bestwick, who is expecting her child – a daughter – with her partner Ryan, 33, has also started a new career.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said: ‘She is actually due on March 13, it’s a crazy world.
‘There will never be anything that takes away from the pain of people who lost loved ones at Dunblane.
‘But for me her birth means happiness and something beautiful can come out of that day.’
Ms Bestwick said she spent 22 years trying to deal with ‘unprocessed trauma’ but now feels as though she has ‘so much to look forward to’.
She was aged just eight when Hamilton, 43, killed the children and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School, in Stirling, Scotland, after bursting into the gym hall with four legally held handguns
She added that she feels ‘secure and loved and happy’.
Ms Bestwick moved to Scotland with her family in 1993 and spent three years at Dunblane Primary School.
When Hamilton burst in with his guns, she was with her classmates in Primary Four.
The children who died, along with their teacher Gwenne Mayor, were in Primary One.
Ms Bestwick is set to give birth next month on March 13, the day 25 years ago when Hamilton, 43, killed the children and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School, in Stirling, Scotland, after bursting into the gym hall with four legally held handguns. Pictured: Ms Bestwick’s baby bump and ultrasound scan of her child
Ms Bestwick, who is expecting her child – a daughter – with her partner Ryan, 33, has also started a new career
Ms Bestwick revealed she was walking through a corridor to the school’s music room when Hamilton began shooting in the gym, at around 9.30am.
The corridor was separated from the gym by a concrete playground.
She said she and a friend saw bullet holes appearing on the glass in front of them and chunks of plaster coming out of the walls behind
Ms Bestwick said she could still remember seeing a figure in the doorway of the gym’s fire escape. It was believed to be Hamilton.
Murray and his brother Jamie were in lessons in March 1996 when Thomas Hamilton (pictured) burst into the gym hall armed with four handguns
She then crawled back to her class before she was reunited with her mother.
Ms Bestwick’s family completed a planned family relocation to Nottinghamshire two weeks after the murders.
However, Ms Bestwick battled with undiagnosed anxiety and depression and attempted to take her own life when she was just 14.
Her problems continued into her 20s when she still felt the ned to close all windows and blinds to make her feel secure.
Ms Bestwick was in the same class at the school as British tennis great Sir Andy Murray.
In 2019, Murray spoke about his experience of the massacre for the firs time, revealing how he shared a car with killer Hamilton and attended his kids’ clubs.
Ms Bestwick said she was inspired by Murray’s drive to not let the massacre define him.
Ms Bestwick saw a turnaround in her fortunes when she saw therapist Carl Jackson, who is an expert in Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT).
It sees patients try to deal with undesired emotions by following complex movement patterns with their eyes.
She is now speaking out to try to help other survivors of trauma.
In May 2019, Murray opened up about the tragedy for the first time in Amazon Prime documentary ‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’.
In May 2019, British tennis player Sir Andy Murray opened up about the tragedy for the first time in Amazon Prime documentary ‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’
He and his brother Jamie were in lessons when Hamilton burst in with his guns.
Murray told film-maker Olivia Cappuccini: ‘You asked me a while ago why tennis was important to me. Obviously I had the thing that happened at Dunblane. When I was around nine.
‘I am sure for all the kids there it would be difficult for different reasons. The fact we knew the guy, we went to his kids club, he had been in our car, we had driven and dropped him off at train stations and things.’
THE UK’S DEADLIEST FIREARMS ATROCITY: THE DUNBLANE PRIMARY SCHOOL MASSACRE
Disgraced former Scout leader Thomas Hamilton was 43 when he carried out the planned execution of innocents, first cutting the school’s telephone wires before making his way to the gym hall armed with four legally-held handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Inside the gym, 28 primary one pupils were preparing for PE class as he entered and began shooting, killing 16 children and their teacher Gwen Mayor and injuring 15 others.
The massacre on March 13, 1996, shortly after 9.30am in the Stirlingshire town shocked the nation and led to the UK enforcing some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world.
Hamilton became a Scout leader in 1973, at the age of 20, but was asked to leave the following year because of complaints about his behaviour at camp.
In a BBC documentary to mark the anniversary, former head teacher Ron Taylor, 63, described how he is still consumed with guilt by the tragedy.
‘It was unimaginably horrible to see children dying in front of you. I felt enormous guilt – more than a survivor’s guilt. It was my school, I felt violated,’ he said.
‘As a headteacher what happened to me that day was the worst experience any headteacher could have. People have to cope in their own way.
‘One of the things I have at home is a box full of newspaper articles.
‘And it includes my own written version of the events of the day and I did that to help. I locked it away and thankfully I have never looked at it again.’