You might recall the heroic story of Chris Parker, a homeless man who was begging near the Manchester Arena on the night 22 people were killed in a suicide bombing.
Despite the 33-year-old being knocked to the ground in the blast, he rushed in to help those with injuries. He first helped a young girl who had become separated from her parents, draping her in Ariana Grande merchandise and ensuring she was ok, before he saw a woman in her 60s struggling with her wounds.
Mr Parker stayed with the woman until she died in his arms.
Following the bombing and his efforts, he said he couldn’t stop crying or reliving the scenes that he saw. But when his acts were recognised in the media, his mum, Jessica, was shocked to find that he was homeless.
Jessica Parker. Credit: Manchester Evening News
His mum hadn’t heard from him in five years and when she found out what he’d done to help the victims, she tried to reconnect with him. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Jessica says their reunion was very emotional: “It was hard to put into words how it was. He just gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘I’m glad you’re here, Mum.'”
After meeting up at a hotel, they walked to St Ann’s Square where thousands of flowers, cards and balloons have been left.
Jessica, who now lives in Norfolk, is planning on visiting Chris next weekend. She says: “As a mother, I want to clean him up, feed him, clothe him, but I’ve got to remember that I can’t do that, it’s not my place to do that.”
She’s also incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support for Chris, with more than £50,000 raised since last week. The man who set up the fundraising page, Michael Johns, sat down with Chris today to hand over the impressive sum of money.
Chris says: “Thank you very much, I’m not a hero at all… I would do it again quite happily. My heart goes out to them families. What I saw that night, I hope nobody ever, ever, ever experiences that ever. All I need to say is thank you very much.”
He deserves every penny.
Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe / M.E.N.