Brave mum hailed as "Superwoman" after bomb blast rescue drama
A brave young mum is preparing for an emotional reunion with the man whose life she saved after the Manchester bomb attack.
Lianna Shutt became the focus of media attention worldwide when she drove a dad, who was injured in the blast, to hospital in her own car.
But she is a reluctant heroine even though Gary, the man she saved who was attending the Ariana Grande concert with his 11-year-old daughter, has described her as “Superwoman.”
Lianna (29) of Lowerhouse, Burnley, who took her daughter Broganjean to the show as a 10th birthday treat, said: “I am just an ordinary mum and I only did what anyone else would have done.
“There wasn’t a lot of time to think, it was just a case of acting quickly because I knew that Gary needed to get to hospital as soon as possible.”
Gary has since been transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in his home city of Birmingham with his daughter Amy and Lianna has kept in touch daily with him.
And he is pinning his hopes on attending The One Love Manchester benefit concert on Sunday at the Old Trafford Cricket ground. It will be headlined by Ariana Grande who will be joined on stage by Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Katy Perry.
Lianna said: “It would be lovely to be reunited with Gary and his family if he is up to attending and it is something we are considering to show our girls that you have to get back out there and not be afraid to live your life.”
Lianna said she is still coming to terms with the night of the bombing which left 22 dead and 59 people seriously injured.
She only found out she could attend on the night as Broganjean is being treated in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for an infection connected to serious joint problems she suffers with.
A pupil at St Augustine’s RC Primary School in Burnley, Broganjean has been in hospital for eight weeks and Lianna has kept an almost constant bedside vigil.
Due to Broganjean’s condition she attended the venue in a wheelchair and the mum and daughter were given their own box to watch the concert.
Lianna said: “If we had been in the original seats we booked we would have left the arena through a different exit nearer to the bomb blast and it could have been a different story.”
The bomb exploded as they left the arena and Lianna described seeing “an orange and white flashing light.”
Lianna said: “I looked to my left and I saw Gary on the floor with his daughter and he was covered in blood and struggling to get up. He had severe shrapnel wounds on his arms, shoulders and legs.
“I knew that I just couldn’t leave them and do nothing.”
In the chaos Broganjean was knocked out of her wheelchair as the pair made their way out of the arena where Lianna’s husband, Martin was waiting to collect them with Broganjean’s dad, Adam Taylor.
Lianna then went back to help get Gary and Amy outside onto the pavement were dozens of casualties were lining up
A trained nurse, Lianna’s car, which they had been able to park in a disabled bay close to the arena, was stocked with a 500 piece first aid kit which she swiftly put to use to treat Gary and other victims.
Lianna said: “Gary was bleeding a lot from multiple injuries and people were coming up and offering their belts, coats and other items to help stem it.
“There were police officers there but no ambulances at this point as they were at the other side of the arena where the bomb had hit but I told them it was vital that Gary got to hospital as soon as possible.”
It was then a police officer said that if Lianna could get him there safely to go ahead.
She said: “I drove with Amy next to me and Gary in the back with Martin looking after him. Broganjean followed in a taxi with her dad.
“We drove quickly but nothing like the 100mph that has been reported. I did flash my lights for people to let me through shouting that we had a casualty from the bombing and other drivers were great.”
Gary was the first casualty to arrive at the North Manchester Hospital where staff were ready and waiting and the surgeon who met them at the door said Lianna’s actions had probably saved his life.
Lianna then had to phone Gary’s wife to break the devastating news to her.
She said: “She did not even know it had happened but she got in a car and travelled up immediately.
“I told her Gary was so badly injured because he was protecting their daughter.”
Since the incident the two families have kept in touch and Broganjean and Amy chat everyday on the phone.
Lianna, who now works as a crisis support worker for Lancashire County Council, said: “I have been contacted by media and people from all over the world but to me I am just an average mum and I am not seeking any glory for this.
"It was just my instinct to make sure my family was safe and then help someone who I could see was injured and needed my help.”