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Arena attack: Young mum’s gratitude for the police officer she says saved her daughter’s life

Lily Harrison is reunited with PC Cath Daley Photo: ITV Granada

Lily Harrison was among scores of people wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a homemade bomb at Manchester Arena on May 22.

The eight-year-old suffered a shrapnel wound and a bruised lung after being thrown to the floor by the blast at the end of an Ariana Grande show.

Her parents were also wounded, with her mum, Lauren, having to undergo three operations in just seven days after sustaining leg injuries.

Lauren says at one stage she thought her daughter was dead as she fell in and out of consciousness and appeared to stop breathing.

As terrified concert goers tried to escape the venue, PC Cath Daley and a colleague were running towards the scene and spotted Lily’s parents crouched around their unconscious daughter.

Lauren Thorpe says she believes without Cath and her colleague’s help - their story would be a very different one.

After assessing the situation and realising they couldn’t wait for an ambulance, Cath, who has been a police officer for 25 years, got the family into her police van and drove the badly injured eight year old and her parents to hospital.

They arrived at the children’s hospital so quickly Cath had to tell medical staff what had happened at the arena and warned them to expect an influx of casualties.

She then raced back to the scene and helped ferry the injured in and out of the bomb site.

She describes using crash barriers as make shift stretchers to get the injured out of the area as soon as possible. And ripping up cardboard boxes so they could be used as padding against the metal.

In the early hours of the morning she then joined the search teams tasked with making sure another bomb hadn’t been left in the surrounding area.

As part of our documentary on the Arena attack tonight, we reunited Cath with Lauren Thorpe and her daughter Lily. It was the first time Cath had seen Lily since the night she rescued her from the scene.

An emotional Lauren said:

“We’re just really grateful because without you… it could have been a completely different situation. I know you just say you were just doing your job but….(she breaks down crying. Cath hugs her). We just don’t know how to say thank you enough.”

– Lauren Thorpe

Manchester: 100 Days After The Attack will be aired on ITV tonight at 9pm #MCR100DAYS

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