Wednesday 22 November 2017

Bombing victim Lily 'feels like rock star' after Ariana Grande hospital visit

The pop star visited several patients nearly two weeks after the atrocity.

By Lucy Mapstone

The father of a little girl injured in the Manchester terror attack said his daughter “feels like a rock star” after meeting Ariana Grande and the Duke of Cambridge while recovering in hospital.

Lily Harrison was among scores of people injured when a suicide bomber set off a homemade device at the Manchester Arena on May 22.

The eight-year-old is recovering in hospital after suffering a shrapnel wound and bruised lung in the terror attack.

She had a major boost on Friday night when she met pop star Ariana as she visited young fans in the Royal Manchester Children’s hospital.

The youngster, wearing an Ariana Grande top and with a large teddy bear on her hospital bed, was all smiles as she received a hug from her pop idol.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, her father Adam Harrison said that since meeting Ariana, Lily is “on cloud nine” and is “chomping at the bit” to go to the One Love Manchester concert on Sunday.

Describing his daughter’s meeting the star, Mr Harrison said: “She was so nervous she said, ‘I think I might need to go to the toilet’ she was that excited.

“We were the last room on the ward that she came to visit, so I think the excitement was building and building, and then she came skipping in.”


Mr Harrison relived how Lily, from Stockport, was blown to the floor in the explosion, receiving a wound to her back.

He said: “As I saw her on the floor I just picked her up like a rugby ball and made a run for it, but obviously being 16 stone myself and carrying Lily’s weight and running at speed down a flight of stairs, I met a guy’s foot at the bottom of the stairs and have gone over on my ankle, which has deemed me a bit immobile.”

Once they got to the car park, Lily’s injuries became more apparent.

Mr Harrison said: “Lily went unconscious when we got her into the car park and she was almost like jelly.

“It was (a) tough realisation that we thought we may have lost her. She did come round 30 seconds later, so going from rock bottom to then…

“The wound was on her spine, so I was patting her legs and pinching her legs to see if she had a sense of feeling, and she did.

“We had kind of gone from rock bottom to … I wouldn’t say it was euphoric but it was very positive and uplifting that she was okay.”

After a few days of initial recovery, Lily began to improve.


A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

Her father said: “She’s really come round and culminating in last night where she’s ready to go – she wants to get home now and I think she feels like she’s a bit of a rock star now.”

She is now likely to be discharged from hospital on Saturday or Sunday and is hoping to go to the benefit concert.

Mr Harrison said: “After last night’s visit I think she’d probably disown me if I didn’t take her on Sunday.”

“Physically she looks really well. She is giving her mum and me a heart attack because she is running up and down the corridors of the hospital. So our hearts are in our mouths but who are we not to tell her to do that?

“She is really excited after last night. To see her face last night, to see her face tomorrow will be two things where I think we are coming full circle again, so we are really looking forward to it.”

Press Association

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