Brave Mum Of Saffie Roussos To Take On Manchester Run

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For more information about the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run and to enter, visit:

The courageous mum of the youngest of 22 innocent people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena attack will take part in this year’s Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run to raise money for a new charity in her daughter’s memory.

Lisa Roussos, from Leyland in Lancashire, suffered 117 shrapnel wounds in the horrific explosion when she attended the Ariana Grande concert with her eight-year-old daughter Saffie-Rose and her oldest daughter Ashlee.

Lisa, who was given only a 20 per cent chance of survival, woke from a six-week coma to the life-shattering news that Saffie-Rose had been killed.

But the incredible mum-of-three summoned the strength to fight for her own life and underwent pioneering surgery to save both her right hand and left leg from amputation before learning to walk and write again.

And after nearly two years of rehabilitation, Lisa is set to take on her biggest challenge yet in memory of her daughter. She will walk the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run 10k on Sunday 19 May to raise funds for a new charity she and husband Andrew, 45, are launching to support victims of terrorism.

Lisa, 50, says she is determined for something positive to come out of Saffie’s death and knows she will be spurring her on during the 10k.

She said: “Some days I don’t know how to carry on. But my other children deserve to be happy and that’s what keeps me going. Now I’ve just got this overwhelming need for something positive to come out of something so terribly awful.

“I still can’t see a future. I get up every day, but I can’t see beyond that day. I don’t want to. “It’s like you are acting out what you are doing every day.

“I know I’ve got to carry on for Xander and Ashlee. They deserve to be happy. But I can’t accept Saffie is gone.

“It’s such a strange feeling, it’s hard to describe. How can you accept saying goodbye to a child? You can’t. So I just try to take her with us by talking about her all the time.

“She’s with me. She’s always by my side. I feel her with me. It’s not like I talk to her, but she is in my thoughts every single second of every single day. She’s just there.

“If it weren’t for the £21million Manchester Emergency Fund, God knows where we would be now. We would definitely be homeless and penniless.

“The generosity of the public gave us the financial support to have the breathing space until we are ready to work out what to do next.

“But there might not be a Manchester Fund to help future victims of terrorism. And that’s why we want to set up 22 MCR. “We want to give something back and keep Saffie’s memory alive.”

When Lisa was in hospital, surgeons warned Andrew that a piece of shrapnel lodged at the back of her neck meant there was a 90 per cent chance she would be paralysed from the neck down.

Both Lisa’s knees were fractured, she had suffered serious nerve damage in her legs and would need extensive reconstruction surgery to her right hand, wrist and elbow.

Her leg injuries were so severe, and her muscles had wasted so badly, she had to learn to walk again.

Andrew added: “She was beautiful, just such a huge personality. She would walk into a room and she would turn people’s heads. Without her, our lives are over.

“Someone posted a photo online of a statue of a bereaved parent. It is a man slumped on a bench with the whole of his chest area missing. “That says it all. It might look like you’re carrying on as normal, but although you’re living, inside you are completely dead.”

Following being discharged from hospital in 2017, Lisa decided she wanted to something to honour Saffie and set herself the challenge of walking the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, along with 30,000 others across the day.

She will be joined for the 10k by friends, her physios, two ICU nurses who helped care for her and her hand surgeon Professor Vivien Lees – who has already performed seven operations on her and still needs to do more.

Prof Lees has agreed to be a trustee of the couple’s new charity, 22 MCR – which will offer financial and emotional support to survivors and those bereaved by terror attacks.

Lisa added: “At first I couldn’t even stand. I started by taking a couple of steps in my room with walking aids and eventually managed to walk down the corridor – but even that was a huge effort.

“I’m incredibly nervous about the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run. I haven’t walked anywhere near as far as 10k. The most I’ve done is about half an hour. It’s still very painful to walk and I lose my balance quite easily.

“But having something to focus on has really helped me. It’s given me back a purpose – a reason to get out of bed. I just hope I make it round.

“Saffie would think it was great. She would want to do it too. She always wanted to be involved with everything and got excited about everything.”

To support Lisa, visit her fundraising page at:

For more information about the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run and to enter, visit: