Manchester bombing: Saffie's mum off life support and conscious

The mum of Manchester bombing victim Saffie Roussos has been taken off her life support machine and is conscious.

Thursday, 1st June 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:40 pm
Saffie Roussos

Family friend Mike Swanny said news 48-year-old Lisa, who attended the Ariana Grande concert with the eight-year-old and elder daughter Ashlee Bromwich, was out of danger has allowed the family to start grieving the loss of Saffie.

The 38-year-old, who has been asked to be the family spokesman, said: “The news about Lisa being out of danger is the biggest in this since the start.

“Andrew (Saffie’s father) has been so strong. He’s not wanted to grieve until he knew his wife was going to be okay. He’s been a machine all week.”

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“Lisa’s pulling through and it’s really important people know that”, said Mr Swanny, whose daughter Lily was best friends with Saffie, the youngest victim of last week’s Manchester terrorist attack.

Saffie, from Leyland, was at the concert with mum Lisa, 48, and elder sister Ashlee Bromwich, both of whom were hospitalised with serious shard injuries from the blast.

In total, 22 people were killed and more than 100 injured in the attack carried out by Salman Abedi, believed to have entered Manchester area just as the Ariana Grande concert ended.

Of those killed, three were from the Lancashire area - Saffie, 18-year-old Georgina Callander from Tarleton, and mum-of-three Michelle Kiss who was brought up in Leyland before moving to Blackburn.

Many survivors are still being treated in hospitals across Greater Manchester for shrapnel wounds.

Mike, 38, added: “Lisa’s pulling through. She was in a critical condition at first, but she came off life support on Saturday and was up and talking on Sunday. She’s aware of the situation with Saffie.

“She’s still in hospital, but she’s moving her legs, which is fantastic.

“Ashlee is remarkably well. She went to a different hospital to her mum with wounds, but it looks like she might be out as early as Wednesday.”

When news of victims began to filter through on Tuesday morning, Saffie’s name was on the ‘missing’ list, with desperate appeals for information on her whereabouts going viral on social media.

Mike, who runs a computer shop next to the Roussos family chip shop in Hough Lane, was involved in the search with the family, scouring Manchester streets in the early hours and ringing around hospital for information.

He has now been asked by Saffie’s father Andrew to handle fundraising donations, cards, and information to the public.

The father-of-two said: “Me and Andrew are very close and I was there from the very beginning when this all happened.

“It’s been hell since last Tuesday. I had to come home and tell my little girl that her best friend was not coming back.

“To take the weight off Andrew’s shoulders I’ve been dealing with all the cards and sorting out piles and piles of messages to Saffie and the family.

“I’m also going to open a charity account for funds. Money is coming in from everywhere, I get calls everyday. Yesterday I collected about £9,000 or £10,000 just from people’s pockets.”

Local residents have rallied round to support the family, and hundreds of bunches of flowers have been left in memorial to the little girl outside the chip shop where she used to play.

Mike said: “The family has seen the flowers and the posts on Facebook.

“Andrew’s been overwhelmed by it all, he said he didn’t know these people were out there.”

He added: “I’m so proud of him, he’s so commendable. Every time I’ve been to see him he’s given me the strength to inform the people of Leyland.

“People have been asking me about how they’re doing, and I’ve been able to talk positively because of him. It’s been bloody amazing that someone in his position can be like that.”

The Roussos family, who originate from Limassol in Cyprus, first lived in Southport with their children – Saffie and Zander, 10, attending Tarleton Primary School.

When they moved later to Leyland, the children remained at the school.

Headteacher Chris Upton described Saffie as “a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word”.

He added: “She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was unassuming with a creative flair.”