Mum of Manchester Arena victim said 'let me die so I can look after Saffie' after waking from comaSeptember 22, 2020
THE mother of the youngest Manchester Arena bomb victim has described the heartbreaking moment she woke from a coma to find her little girl was dead.
Lisa Roussos said she knew that eight-year-old Saffie-Rose was gone as soon as she saw her husband’s face.
Lisa was holding her hand as they left the Ariana Grande concert when terrorist Salman Abedi detonated his suicide bomb, killing 22 and injuring hundreds of others.
The mum and Saffie’s big sister Ashlee Bromwich, 29, were rushed to hospital and lost contact with the child, who was carried to an ambulance by members of the public.
Lisa, 50, spent six weeks in hospital as doctors treated 117 shrapnel wounds before she woke up.
Her husband was at her bedside when she regained consciousness.
And she told the public inquiry into the May 2017 atrocity: “The day I woke up from a coma, Andrew held my hand and looked up at me.
I instantly knew, ‘Saffie has gone hasn’t she?’ And he replied, ‘Yes.’
“I cried and pleaded with him to let me die too. I can’t look after her. I did die a little that day.”
She continued for the sake of her other children but told the inquiry in a video message: “I’m so desperate to hold her close and smell her hair and to feel her cheek on mine. My precious baby girl.”
Lisa described Saffie as “gentle and shy” but went on: “As she grew up, she became more confident and outgoing.
"She remained gentle and helpful, always giving us little cuddles and leaving notes of, ‘I love you’ everywhere.
“She had this amazing magnetic personality that drew people to her of all ages. I would just watch in wonder. She was special and I understood this the moment she was born.
“She was enthusiastic about everything. She lit up any room, she was so precious.”
Lisa told how Saffie loved climbing the lamp-post outside the family’s chip shop in Leyland, Lancs.
She added: “To say our lives are completely devastated is an understatement. Saffie completed our family.”
Saffie’s dad Andrew also addressed the inquiry and pleaded for lessons to be learned after it was told of failures in security and emergency services response.
He told the inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders: “With the greatest respect, what we are all going through, the failures we are all listening to and the excuses we will all sit through, needs to stop. Enough is enough.”
Andrew, 46, added: “I am never going to accept life without Saffie.
"She is my star, my admiration, my perfect daughter.
“Going out with Saffie was like magic. She captured people by just looking at them and smiling.”
The inquiry continues.
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