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22 May 2023

Manchester Arena bombing – six years on: Paul Price backs Day One £100k in 100 Days appeal

by Dave Nichols

DOTS Paul Price and Elaine Mc Iver web sqr

Manchester Arena bombing survivor Paul Price is backing Day One’s urgent appeal to support people with life-changing injuries after he felt ‘lonely’ and ‘abandoned’ during his own recovery from the blast six years ago.

Paul, from Liverpool, suffered catastrophic injuries during the explosion as he and his partner Elaine McIver waited for his 13-year-old daughter and friend to come out of the Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

Paul spent nearly nine months in specialist hospitals and had 35 procedures for his injuries, which included severe burns, broken bones, loss of hearing and embedded shrapnel, which remains in his groin, pelvis and back.

Paul spent the first 12 days in an induced coma and a further two weeks in and out of consciousness as he battled to stay alive. He later learned that the love of his life, Elaine, 43, and a serving police officer with Cheshire Police, had died at the scene.

Despite the fantastic efforts from hospital staff, family, and friends, Paul says he felt ‘abandoned’, ‘lonely’ and ‘overwhelmed’ as he came to terms with his injuries, and life without Elaine.

You can read Paul's story in full here.

Now, six years on from the terrorist attack that killed 22 people and injured more than 1,000 more, Paul says he has finally found the support he has been missing thanks to Day One.

“When someone suffers life-changing injuries, their world collapses and you need someone who understands what you’re going through. If I’d had Day One by my side, the journey that I’ve been on and continue to travel would not have felt so lonely and overwhelming.

Paul Price

But Day One can’t reach the thousands of vulnerable people who need our help. Since 2014, we've supported around 3,000 people. But during the first four months of this year we've already supported more than 400 people, more than half the total number of people we supported during the whole of 2022 (756).

We've also seen demand for our emergency grants increase by 100%. Day One provides families with financial support to help with unexpected costs such as parking, travel and accommodation so loved ones can remain nearby. In 2022 we provided £38,000 in grants, but have already given out more than £26,000, with the total for the year expected to reach nearer £100,000 as more people struggle during the cost-of-living crisis.

That’s why Paul is backing our vital £100k in 100 Days appeal so we can meet demand for the thousands of people who suffer injuries caused by incidents such as car crashes, falls from heights, stabbings, farming accidents and explosions.

We believe no one should be left to rebuild their life on their own, but we can’t reach everyone at the moment. Our own services are stretched and demand for our support is growing as people are struggling to cope with the costs of major trauma during a cost-of-living crisis.

Lucy Nickson, Day One CEO

Every year around 25,000 people are admitted to UK major trauma wards with life-changing injuries – that’s someone every 20 minutes. As well as emergency grants, Day One provides counselling, legal, benefits and welfare advice, and peer support from those who have been through a similar situation. Day One is currently partnered with four NHS trusts to provide bed-side support to patients and families in West Yorkshire, Merseyside, South Tees and South Yorkshire, while providing remote support to people through a national support line and website.

Paul is currently benefiting from our peer support service and plans to become a volunteer himself so he can share his experiences with others who suffer life-changing injuries.

Paul, 55, added: “The past six years have been an ordeal, to say the least, but all my injuries pale into insignificance to the loss of Elaine and the losses other families experienced that night. What surprised me was the lack of support in place for people like me who had suffered such horrific injuries. I was amazed that something like Day One Trauma Support didn’t exist in every hospital as standard.

“I’m fortunate to have wonderful family and friends around me, but I still felt alone and abandoned. I had to process my life-changing injuries on my own. I felt the world was happening outside my window, but I wasn’t living it.

“I would have benefited from Day One’s support years ago and it makes me sad that not everyone knows they are there for them. You don’t have to do this alone. One of the hardest things I found was the lack of continuity between hospital and home. I was terrified of leaving the security of 24-hour care. The world around me had changed and I had changed, physically, and emotionally. I couldn’t go back to my house and live on my own - I had to live with my elderly parents. We had to find things out on our own.

“Now I’ve found Day One, I’m passionate about ensuring other people don’t have to go through what I did on their own. It’s really hard at times, but I know Elaine would want me to live the best possible life and that’s exactly what I want for anyone else who experiences injuries like mine.”

Lucy added: “It’s a travesty that Paul didn’t get the support he needed when he needed it most. Our NHS is amazing at putting people back together after suffering catastrophic injuries, but there is a massive gap in the system, which means everyday people like Paul are being let down.

“That’s why we need help so we can be there for them, from day one and for as long as it takes. Please support our appeal, if you can, to ensure no one is left to rebuild their life on their own following a catastrophic injury.”

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