'˜I lost one of my best friends to terrorist bomb ... but I want to remain positive'
A media student, whose friend died in the Manchester terror attack, only backed out of going to Ariana Grande's concert just days beforehand.
A year on from that day, Tamzin Wilkinson-Summers, a pupil at Preston’s College, still struggles to cope with the death of one of her best friends, Megan Hurley.
“Megan was just one of my best friends,” said the 17-year-old from Bamber Bridge. “I had known her for a few years. We had lots of the same interests. We were internet friends, we were into the same type of music.”
The two girls had met online on a fan base website where they talked about the type of pop music they enjoyed and got to know each other over time, meeting up at concerts and going shopping together in Liverpool.
Megan, from Liverpool, had been given tickets to Ariane Grande’s concert as a birthday surprise.
The 15-year-old had been with her older brother Bradley, who was seriously injured in the attack.
“I found out when I was doing my GCSEs,” said Tamzin. “I saw a message from my friend saying ‘were you at the concert’.
“Then got a message from my sister saying ‘did you go to the concert’ and I looked on Facebook and saw it all.
“I was in a group chat with Megan and I didn’t get any response. The next day I had to go to school and do my exam – I didn’t pass it.”
Tamzin, who has been in therapy over the last year, told the Lancashire Post about how she almost went to the concert with Megan.
She said: “I was supposed to go to the concert with Megan but I had my maths exam the next day. I would have got back from Manchester at midnight so I said no, I’m not coming. She got caught where the box office was.
“I go to lots of concerts – it could happen anywhere.
“I’ve had more down days than up days. I have been to counselling at college, that really helped but its just been really hard. Some people from my high school went to the concert and they were telling me about it.
“It was just like some sort of horror story.
“I watched a documentary about survivors and that helped and my mum has been really supportive.”
Tamzin has been to a couple of concerts since the terror attack a year ago and she said that both of them were traumatic in different ways.
“I went back to the Arena in February to see The Script and that was really emotional. I just had that feeling the whole time that something was going to happen, it was really hard.
“I also went to see Justin Bieber and for about two minutes the lights were out I thought that something was going to happen.”
Hoping to do something helpful and positive in the aftermath, Tamzin took part in a walk to raise funds for the victims’ families and those who were injured in the explosion.
She walked 28 miles from Chorley to Manchester over nine hours raising £362 for the British Red Cross.
The teenager and her mum June will be going to St Ann’s Square in Manchester on the anniversary of the attack on Tuesday, where a whole range of memorial events are taking place.