Bereaved mum reveals Martin Hibbert scattered her daughter's ashes at top of Kilimanjaro

Martin Hibbert and Paul Price
Martin Hibbert reveals what drives him in his book 'Top of the World' Credit: ITV Granada

The mother of a teenager who died in the Manchester Arena attack has revealed a paralysed survivor scattered her daughter's ashes at the top of Africa's highest mountain.15 year old Olivia Campbell Hardy, a talented singer from Bury had dreamed of travelling the world before she was killed.

Olivia Campbell Hardy died of head and neck injuries and was 5 metres away from the bomber

Martin Hibbert, who was the closest person to the bomber to survive the attack, took some of Olivia's ashes along with his mum's to the top of Kilimanjaro.

He has written a book about his experience and invited some of the Arena attack bereaved families and the medics who saved his life to the launch at 53two theatre in Manchester.

Olivia's mum Charlotte and her stepdad Paul were the first people Martin invited to his book launch, and described them as 'like family to him'.

Charlotte said Martin was an "inspiration, a true hero and it meant the world for her that he took Ollie's ashes with him up Africa's highest peak".

Martin Hibbert took his mum Janice's ashes to the top of Kilimanjaro along with Olivia Campbell Hardys Credit: Martin Hibbert

The football agent from Bolton's injuries were 'like being shot 22 times at point blank range'.

Martin Hibbert is now determined to change perceptions and break down barriers for people with disabilities and reveals what drives him in his new book, 'Top of the World'.

At the book launch, he described being awake for over an hour waiting for medical help after the attack, in which 22 people died and hundreds more were injured.

As he waited with his daughter Eve, who suffered a bolt in her brain, she was covered with a blanket twice. Her father had to tell those trying to help, she was still alive.

Martin and Eve Hibbert are bringing claims against Richard Hall for harassment, misuse of private information and data protection.

Martin stayed awake until paramedics arrived and at that point he said he did not think he would make it. He told a security guard to tell his wife Gabby "he loved her".

He suffered PTSD from the impact of the attack on his daughter and admits to feeling 'guilt' he couldn't protect her and has had serious bouts of severe depression.

He described the moment he woke from a coma in hospital a week after the bombing, when he was told he was paralysed from the waist down.

He said support from the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) probably saved his life and made him determined to fight for better support for those with disabilities.

Determined to make a difference, he spent five days scaling Kilimanjaro in his wheelchair, setting himself the target of raising a million pounds for the SIA, becoming just the second paraplegic to do so.

Reaching the summit, on 13 June 2022 Martin, with the medics from Salford Royal Hospital who helped save his life said, ‘I’ve often wondered why I was saved."

"Now I know why. It was for this moment."

He is now a powerful disability advocate after he was left paralysed from the waist down in the 2017 blast, which killed 22 people.

He was named in the community advocate category of the Disability Power 100 for challenging perceptions of disability and highlighting the barriers disabled people face on a daily basis.

Martin Hibbert celebrating scaling Kilimanjaro raising a million for SIA Credit: Martin Hibbert

Now SIA's Vice-President, Martin had a meeting with the former Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Tom Pursglove MP to share his experience

He told him "in no uncertain terms that a lot more" needs to be done by government if disabled people are able to live fulfilled and independent lives.

Dan Walker, Channel 5 presenter revealed the Minister told him, Martin had "effectively had him in a headlock" demanding better support for people with disabilities.

Manchester Poet Tony Walsh read a poem in tribute to Martin Hibbert, in which he wrote.

"And with northern-bloody mindedness, "As crazy as this sounds".

"We'll raise hope. We'll raise awareness. We'll raise a million pounds"

In reference to the target Martin has pledged to raise for SIA to improve care for spinal cord injuries.

"From a simple act of violence comes a simple act of love."

"We rise, we rise, we rise, we rise. We rise above"

Tony Walsh wrote a poem in tribute to Martin Hibbert Credit: Tony Walsh

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