Arena Survivor Lucy shares her experience on TV
A Wigan teenager badly injured in the Manchester bombing appears in a major TV documentary tonight (Tuesday).
Lucy Jarvis spent almost two months in hospital and underwent several operations to her legs and abdomen after being caught up in the arena blast.
This evening the 17-year-old shares her story with ITV for the “Manchester: 100 Days After The Attack” documentary airing at 9pm.
She speaks of that horrific night - which claimed 22 lives and injured 120 more - her injuries, recovery and her hopes of returning to college next month.
Lucy, who is now continuing her long recuperation at home in Standish, had been to many concerts at Manchester Arena before May 22. She was a big fan of Ariana Grande, and was delighted to get her hands on tickets for the concert.
On the day of the show, she took time to get her hair, make-up and outfit ready before heading out with her friend Amelia Thomlinson. The girls sang and danced along with thousands of other fans in the crowd. After the final song, they left the arena and entered the foyer. It was there that Lucy’s life would be turned upside down.
Blown back by the blast, her body had been hit by more than a dozen pieces of shrapnel - shattering her ankle and causing serious injuries to her abdomen.
Despite her injuries, and with her ears ringing and vision distorted, she got up and ran back up the stairs and into the arena.
She says all she can remember of that moment is the heat: “I remember walking through the doors. And then I just remember being really hot.
“I don’t remember hearing a bang or anything - just feeling really really hot. And then I dropped to the floor. To be honest I thought I was on fire. I didn’t know what had gone on.”
After the attack by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, Lucy was taken to Salford Royal hospital, where surgeons spent 14 hours battling to save her life.
Several surgeries and more than seven weeks later, Lucy was finally able to leave hospital.
Lucy says staff at the hospital were “amazing” adding “It wasn’t circumstances to be in but, I didn’t mind it. I knew that the nurses were all lovely and treated me very well”.
Three months on from the attack, Lucy reflects on what she went through: “It’s really crazy in a way because you don’t expect something like that to happen.
“And now I’ve got these scars but I am just really really glad they have healed well and hopefully I won’t have any long term injuries that will affect met...that will affect my life.
“I just feel very lucky because even though I have got not very nice scars. I’d rather have them than have no leg.”
As September draws closer, and with Lucy’s 18th birthday on the horizon, the teenager says she is looking forward to resume her studies at Runshaw College in Leyland.
“I am hoping to go back to college in September. I’ll be able to see my friends again and do normal things like college work, which I have not done any of. I am excited to do that in a normal setting.
“It will be a bit strange, because obviously I’ll be different, but hopefully it will feel normal to me.”
Lucy’s parents Kath and Dave maintained a round-the-clock vigil at her bedside while she lay stricken in hospital. Family members took pictures of her when she was unconscious, waking from her coma, on the road to recovery and watching the One Love Manchester concert on the telly.
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.”
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.”