Tuesday 23 January 2018

Injured mother of Manchester victim Saffie (8) taken off life-support and aware of daughter's death

Saffie was the youngest of the 22 people killed

Saffie Roussos (8)
Saffie Roussos (8)

Martin Evans

The mother of eight-year-old Saffie Roussos - the youngest of the victims to die in the Manchester terror attack - is conscious and aware of the tragedy, a family friend has revealed.

Lisa Roussos (48) was critically injured in last week's bomb attack and had been on life support, unaware that her daughter had died.

But a friend said she was beginning to pull through and had been told what had happened to Saffie.

Mike Swanny, a neighbour and close friend of the Roussos family, said Mrs Roussos had been taken off life support.

He said: "The news about Lisa being out of danger is the biggest in this since the start. She was in a critical condition at first, but she came off life support on Saturday and was up and talking on Sunday.

"She's aware of the situation with Saffie. She's still in hospital, but she's moving her legs, which is fantastic. Lisa's pulling through and it's really important people know that."

Saffie's older sister Ashlee was also injured in the attack and was being treated at a different hospital, but Mr Swanny said she was also making a good recovery.

Saffie was the youngest of the 22 people killed when jihadist, Salman Abedi blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22.

At the family's fish and chip shop in Leyland, Lancashire, a huge display of floral tributes have been laid and well wishers have also raised thousands of pounds for the family, who are originally from Cyprus.

Mr Swanny said Saffie's father, Andrew (43) had been overwhelmed by the public outpouring since the tragedy.

He said: "Andrew has been so strong. He's not wanted to grieve until he knew his wife was going to be okay. He's been a machine all week."

"Andrew's been overwhelmed by it all, he said he didn't know these people were out there," he added.

Saffie's headteacher, Chris Upton, described her as "a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word".

Paying tribute to her, he said: "She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was unassuming with a creative flair."

Mr Swanny, who runs a computer shop next to the Roussos family business in Leyland, said it had been very difficult telling his daughter that her best friend had died.

He said: "Me and Andrew are very close and I was there from the very beginning when this all happened.

"It's been hell since last Tuesday. I had to come home and tell my little girl that her best friend was not coming back."


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