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  1. ITV Report

After being told he would never walk again closest casualty to Manchester Arena bomber regains movement in legs

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia

A survivor of the Manchester Arena bombing has described for the first time his remarkable recovery from his horrific injuries.

Martin Hibbert, who was the closest casualty to the blast to survive, was left paralysed and told he would never walk again, after shrapnel from the bomb severed his spine.

He was just 10 metres away and suffered 22 shrapnel wounds from the nuts and bolts that exploded from the bomb, detonated by Salman Abedi back in May 2017.

But after radical treatment in Australia he can now stand again and has regained some movement in his legs.

Mr Hibbert told ITV News: "I've never once dreamt that I'm in a wheelchair I'm always able-bodied, I'm always running and that's got to mean something so until Ken [part of his support team] turns around and says 'that's it, there's nothing else we can do' I'll continue going until I'm walking."

He added: "I've promised my wife we'll go dancing - bearing in mind I'm not a very good dancer that's quite a big promise - walk my dog Alfie, just living life as we did before."

The treatment involves training Mr Hibbert's brain to send impulses or messages to his legs through routes bypassing the damaged nerves.

The shrapnel in Martin Hibbert's spine. Credit: Family handout

He is also determined to walk again as he does not want "the terrorist to change my life".

"They want me to stop living life, they want me to be crying in the corner.

"What they don't want me to be doing is going to Australia and walking, they want to change my life, but it's kind of like; right back at you," he added.