‘Hero’ injured in sword attack was protecting his family, sister says

The sister of a man wounded in the sword attack in east London has described her brother as a “hero” for protecting his family. Henry De Los Rios Polania, 35, an IT engineer from Hainault, is in hospital after being stabbed in his home on Tuesday morning.

Jessica De Los Rios, 31, said her brother had been left “traumatised” by the event but described his actions as heroic. “He’s very devastated to believe something like this could happen,” she told the PA news agency, adding: “To us, he’s our hero. He protected them – my niece and my sister-in-law.

“They were just literally sleeping, opened their eyes to see a man with a big machete sword. He felt helpless in the moment but to us he is our hero. It could have been extremely worse.”

Ms De Los Rios said her brother was recovering in hospital after sustaining a deep wound to his hand.

“It’s a very long process to get his hand recovered, due to this wound,” she said, adding: “He’s awake, he’s in hospital,” but “he lost a lot of blood” and “it’s going to be a really long, traumatising recovery for him”.

Ms De Los Rios expressed concern that the attack would have a long-term psychological impact on the whole family. She said: “We just have faith, but what worries me the most is how traumatised they are.

“They haven’t been able to sleep. It’s unbelievable. These kind of things you see on the news and you never think it could happen to you.

“Unfortunately I don’t think they will want to go back into the house and live there again. It’s been extremely hard to take in such a horrific situation.”

Ms De Los Rios thanked the police for their bravery and the paramedics, nurses and doctors tending to her brother.