Father of West Boca Raton woman who survived Nice attack says family is "fortunate"

Says heart aches for families that lost loved ones
Posted at 8:04 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 20:04:56-04

The first American we heard from in the moments after the terror in France was a woman from West Boca Raton.

Kayla Repan is on vacation in France with her brand new fiancee. Her parents back in South Florida said emotions surrounding their daughter’s trip overseas went from excitement to fear and now relief.  

When terror hit the streets of Nice, France, Michael Javaherian's and his wife were 5,000 miles away in West Boca Raton feeling desperate.

“As soon as I walked in [the house], my wife was on the phone. She looked nervous, she was in tears,” explained Javaherian.

Repan told them she was a block away from where a terrorist drove his truck through a huge crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day. Not too long after the news broke that dozens were dead, Repan sent a text to her dad letting him know she was safe.

But he waited three more long hours before he heard her voice.

“After that call, we felt relieved because she sounded okay, she sounded good,” Javaherian said.

Repan told her dad she heard gunshots. And then rode the huge wave of people running from the chaos.

“There were police on the street and they asked them to go into this other hotel, the second floor, and just lay on the ground flat,” Javaherian retold his daughter’s story.

The father said his daughter's level head helped him relax.

But he knows other families aren't as lucky as his. More than 80 people died in the attack.

“We’re good, we're fortunate,” Javaherian said. “Other people weren't and it could have been us, so we feel that pain.”

Javaherian still can't imagine his daughter in such a life or death situation.

He doesn't want her to cut her three-week European trip short. He's encouraging her to make new memories with her fiancee, not to give in to terror

“You can't not live your life. If something is going to happen, it could've happened here,” Javaherian pointed out.