A North West teenager seriously injured in the Manchester terror attack is finally back home after nearly two months in hospital.
Lucy Jarvis is now being looked after by her family following seven weeks at Salford Royal Hospital where she underwent several operations to her legs and abdomen. Relatives , who have not left her bedside during her medical ordeals, say there remains a “long road to recovery” for the 17-year-old.
Runshaw College student Lucy, from Wigan, and her best friend Amelia Thomlinson were in the foyer of the Manchester Arena, leaving the Ariana Grande concert they had just attended when terrorist Salman Abedi detonated the bomb that killed 22 and injured 120 more.
Lucy was caught in the blast, shrapnel tearing into her ankles, legs and abdomen. For more than three agonising hours, parents Kath and Dave frantically combed local hospitals to try to find their daughter, eventually reuniting with her at Salford Royal.
After spending three and a half weeks in intensive care, Lucy was moved to the trauma ward, Kath and Dave taking it in turns to stay with her for the full seven weeks round the clock, returning briefly to their Standish home inbetween.
Lucy, whose recovery is said to be progressing well, has - perhaps thankfully - very little recollection of what happened on that terrible night.
Thank you so much to everyone who looked after me and to everyone who has been so kindLucy Jarvis
Speaking exclusively to the Wigan Observer, the beautiful teenager said: “Thank you so much to everyone who looked after me and to everyone who has been so kind.”
Kath told the paper about the “unbelievable” acts of kindness shown by medical staff, arena technicians and strangers since her daughter was injured in the blast on May 22.
“Staff in the ICU and at the hospital in general have been brilliant,” she said. “The surgeons there are second to none. We couldn’t have wished for anything better. You have to think about some of the things they saw that night. You see how busy it is in there and how hard-working these people are. I couldn’t do that job. The care she has had has been fabulous.”
Despite her injuries in the foyer, Lucy managed to run back into the arena before she was found by two men who worked as technicians there: John Clarkson and Paul Worsley.
Heroically, the pair refused to leave Lucy’s side despite being approached by armed police who were ordering everyone to evacuate the area for fear of further attacks.
The two worked to keep Lucy awake as she was assessed by paramedics then rushed to Salford Royal for emergency surgery.
“They kept her conscious,” said Kath. “They kept talking to her to keep her awake until the police came along and helped to get her onto a stretcher. They refused to leave her side and both stayed with her until she was taken by the ambulance. John and Paul have been to see her three times in hospital. I really hope we stay in touch with them. What they did was nothing short of heroic.”
Once she had arrived at ICU, Lucy began weeks of surgery and battling through the pain until she was well enough to return home last Wednesday.
The family said that the support they have had from people around the world has been immensely touching.
Kath said. “She has had hundreds of cards from people, hearts made out of fabric sent from all over the place, a shawl handmade by someone in Switzerland. People have sent her really really lovely blankets. She has had cards from people in Spain and France and even South Africa.
“Someone bought her a bracelet. People have been really, really kind, saying that they are thinking about her. It makes you think. There are so many nice people in the world.”
Like many a teenaged girl, Lucy is a big fan of make-up, so her auntie, Liz Duncan, contacted Mac make-up to tell her about her niece’s awful experience in an attempt to cheer her up.
Liz said: “I have to give it to Mac, I sent them an email explaining what had happened and that Lucy is a huge fan, and they sent her a massive box with loads of stuff in.”
Lucy, who has a 22-year-old brother Sam, has also received messages from celebrities, including a video one from Olly Murs and best wishes from Diversity, Rylan, Amanda Holden along with Hollyoaks and Coronation Street actors. X-Men star, Hugh Jackman, also sent a heartfelt message to Lucy as she recovered in hospital.
Former Standish High School pupil Lucy said: “I have had lovely messages and gifts from people all over the world. It means so much to me that people have gone out of their way to be so nice.”