1. ITV Report

Manchester attack victim's family: Government 'must open its eyes'

Georgina lost her life moments after seeing her favourite artist Ariana Grande play. Credit: Instagram

The family of Manchester bombing victim Georgina Callander's have hit out at the Government, saying it must "open its eyes" or more parents will lose children to terror.

The 18-year-old was killed in the blast shortly after her favourite artist Ariana Grande left the stage at the Manchester Arena on Monday.

In a statement released through Greater Manchester Police, her family said the teenager's life had been cut short by "evil, evil men prepared to ruin lives and destroy families".

Georgina had just passed her driving test and been accepted into university. Credit: GMP

The teenager, from Chorley, was in her second year of studying health and social care at Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire, and had previously been a pupil at Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy.

She had recently passed her driving test, was "doing great" in her exams and had been accepted into Edge Hill University.

"Here was a girl who was loving life," her family said.

Georgina's family told how she had 'a smile that was never ending'. Credit: GMP

Her mother Lesley told ITV News of the moment she found her daughter on lying on a stretcher after the attack.

"I was just screaming and shouting at her.

"I was rubbing her hands, I was rubbing her tummy, I was rubbing her face."

She added: "It was just a flicker of hope that she’d move her hand or move her leg or try and open her eyes a little, just to acknowledge that I was there, just to let me know that she was very, very poorly but she knew that I was there."

Georgina's father broke down in tears as he said: "I should have been there to hold her hand."

Georgina had been counting down the days to the Ariana Grande gig, her family said. Credit: GMP

The night's event was supposed to have been a memorable one for the young music fan.

She had previously met Grande and posted a picture of the pair together on social media.

As the date of the concert came closer, excitement reached fever pitch, her mother said.

"She kept texting me telling me her tummy was turning over.

"She was so, so excited."

The family's statement in full:

On the 22 May 2017 our lives changed forever as our amazing daughter Georgina Bethany Callender was senselessly taken away.

Her life was taken away after 18 short years by evil, evil men prepared to ruin lives and destroy families, for what?

Georgina was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, with a smile that was never ending. She always had big hugs for everyone and her life was blooming like the flowers she loved.

She had not long passed her driving test and was doing great in her exams. She had been accepted into Edge Hill University - here was a girl who was loving life.

I wish I could say that Georgina is one of the last to die in this way but unless our government opens its eyes we know we are only another in a long line of parents on a list that continues to grow.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful police and rescue services. Without their sacrifice this would have been a lot worse. We would also like to thank all the people who have sent caring messages of love and support, especially our local villagers.

Thank you for the hugs, love and kind words; they really have had a profound effect on us.

And lastly a big kiss to Sky, one of Georgina’s best friends living in New Zealand.

– Family of Georgina Callander

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