‘Hor­ror has changed our lives’ – mum

Macclesfield Express - - POP CONCERT TERROR ATTACK - STU­ART GREER

AMUM who was caught up in the blast with her daugh­ter has de­scribed how the ex­pe­ri­ence has ‘changed their lives’.

Emma Old­ham, 43, her daugh­ter Beatrice, and her friend Izzy Wilkin­son, both 12, all es­caped the ter­ror at­tack un­harmed.

The mum-of-two from Poyn­ton said she feels a ‘mix­ture of emo­tions in­clud­ing anger, sad­ness, re­lief and guilt’.

Emma, a nurs­ery man­ager said, the gig was a birth­day present for Beatrice.

She said: “It had been bril­liant. The girls had such a good time, and then it sud­denly changed.

“There was an almighty ex­plo­sions and ev­ery­one just stopped. It was a sound I had never heard in my life, but I knew it was a bomb.

“Then there was scream­ing and peo­ple run­ning in our di­rec­tion. “I was ex­pect­ing gun shots. It was horrific. In the chaos I lost sight of the girls but some­how man­aged to spot them and grab hold of the their hands.”

Emma de­scribed a ‘hor­ri­ble’ smell and smoke.

She said: “Beatrice had a panic at­tack. Ev­ery­one around me was cry­ing. Both girls then be­came hys­ter­i­cal. I kissed them both and tried and re­as­sure them. As we made our way out I saw peo­ple with blood on them. I saw two young girls on their own just frozen. I en­cour­age them to keep mov­ing out. Ev­ery­one was look­ing af­ter each other. As we spilled onto the streets I saw par­ents hug­ging their chil­dren, and oth­ers watch­ing the crowds in fear and hor­ror.”

Emma and the girls man­aged to get home, but have spent the last week try­ing to come to terms with the ex­pe­ri­ence.

She said: “That first night we were in shock and didn’t sleep. Beatrice had night­mares. I have spent the last week re­liev­ing it. I am drained. I feel anger, sad­ness, re­lief and guilt. I got home okay, but so many didn’t.

“This has changed our lives.”

Emma and Beatrice joined hun­dreds of peo­ple out­side St Ge­orge’s Church in Poyn­ton for a can­dlelit vigil to honour those killed in the Manch­ester ter­ror at­tack.

The event was or­gan­ised by Mac­cles­field Col­lege stu­dent Hatti Camli, 17.

Hatti, from Poyn­ton, said: “I had quite a few friends who were there. Luck­ily they all sur­vived.

“The num­ber of peo­ple who came to the vigil shows our hu­man­ity, sol­i­dar­ity and kind­ness.”

Emma Old­ham (left) with daugh­ter Beatrice, 12, and Izzy Wilkin­son, 12, from Poyn­ton, at the Ari­ana Grande con­cert be­fore the ex­plo­sion

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