A girl who was left unable to walk after the Manchester terror attack has recovered from her “horrific” injuries and is training for a charity run.
Freya Lewis, 15, used a wheelchair for three months after the suicide bombing at the Ariana Grande gig. She thought she would never walk again.
She will be raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where she was treated.
Her friend Nell Jones was one of the 22 people who were killed on 22 May 2017.
Freya, from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, had gone to the concert with her friend. However, she has no recollection of being admitted to hospital after the attack, which left her with multiple injuries, fractures and burns.
She underwent 11-and-a-half hours of surgery in theatre.
“It sounds dramatic because I’m quite a dramatic person, but in the first few weeks I never thought I’d be running again or even walking normally. I’d ask them [hospital staff] over and over again, ‘when will I be back to normal?’,” she said.
“I didn’t believe them, because of the state I was in it just didn’t sound possible,” Freya added.
She is full of praise for the medical staff, who she now considers friends, not just for the treatment but also for their encouragement.
Ariana visit made me smile again
One of the biggest boosts to her morale, however, was the visit she received from Ariana Grande.
“When she came to see me, it didn’t feel real. There were tears, more crying. I was so low up until that point, that was what I was thinking about for the next couple of weeks. It just made me happier.
“She told me she loved me a lot and she held my hand, the one that was free.”
Freya added: “She watched embarrassing videos of me singing her songs. She was laughing with me… I was smiling again basically.”
The surgeon Matt Nixon, who operated on her, described her response as “phenomenal” and “inspirational”.
Freya, who admitted she had never been very athletic, was asked to be the starter for this year’s Great Manchester Run which takes place on 20 May, two days before the first anniversary of the attack
She was encouraged by her father Nick, who will also be running in the 10km run, to participate in a shorter, junior version.
Photo Credit: Clevver News