Paul Price lost his partner and suffered life-changing injuries in the Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017, but now he has revealed the heart-wrenching moment he met his rescuer
A survivor of the Manchester Arena attack has finally met the man he credits with saving his life.
Paul Price, who suffered life-changing injuries in the terror attack five years ago next month and whose partner died in the blast, said his children would not have a father if it was not for the help of T-shirt seller Paul Reid that evening .
Reid, 48, who was one of the first on the scene after suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device, kept Paul conscious until an ambulance arrived.
In a new ITV documentary, Paul described how he had been waiting for his daughter Gabrielle, then 13, at the venue alongside partner Elaine McIver.
“I know Paul doesn’t think so, but he’s a hero,” he said. “I was lying on the floor dying and there were a lot of people understandably running away.
“The people paid to run into that situation were being held back so Paul shouldn’t underplay that he was running against the tide.
“I can’t thank him enough. He’s the reason my kids have a dad.”
Reid, who has suffered from ongoing trauma since the tragedy, said: “I just tried to help in a bad situation – I’d hope someone was there to help me.
“It was instinctive to run in because I knew there’d be kids inside who were in trouble.
“The paramedic had patched Paul up, she was holding something on his stomach. I said: ‘I’ll hold that, you go and help somebody else’ and I started talking to him.
“I could see how badly injured Paul was, that’s why I held his hand. I tried to keep his mind off things because I didn’t want him to lose consciousness.
“I could tell he was a Scouser so I asked if he was a Red or a Blue[Liverpool or Everton fan]. A police officer came and I said: ‘This one needs a stretcher’.”
Paul, 54, was carried out of the arena on the makeshift stretcher – with little medical equipment on hand, stretchers were made out of concert railings and advertising hoardings.
He has spent two weeks in a coma and eight months in hospital, undergoing an estimated 30 operations for his injuries.
His wounds included severe damage to his legs and hands, burns to his head and throat and hearing loss in one ear.
He had to learn to walk again and was left with nuts and bolts from the device still embedded in him.
The ex-production operative for a car manufacturer was told not to meet his rescuer early on because he had little memory of the night and medics feared it might prove traumatic.
But while filming for tonight’s documentary, the pair met last summer and say theirs is a bond for life.
“I tried to look for Paul in the weeks after the attack,” said Reid, of Walsall, West Mids.
“I wanted to find out what happened to get some closure. I went into a traumatic meltdown the day I left that bomb. Meeting Paul really helped.”
The first of three reports written after the Manchester Arena Inquiry noted Abedi, who killed 22, should have been identified as a threat by arena security.
Greater Manchester Police admitted at the inquiry they had made errors.
The inquiry heard with only one paramedic at the scene for 45 minutes, many victims were helped by officers and the public.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service failed to send anyone to the City Room where the blast happened on May 22, 2017 for more than two hours.
“It was mad in there,” said Reid. “The people you expected to come and help, they just didn’t come.”
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Paul’s partner Elaine was a detective constable with Cheshire Police.
“I was so proud of her, it was so disappointing we were let down,” said Price, of Liverpool.
He said he keeps going for his children, Miles, 25, and Gabrielle, now 18.
And because he knows Elaine, 43, when she died, she would want him to be happy.
“She was the love of my life and I was the love of hers,” he said.
Worlds Collide: The Manchester Bombing is on ITV today at 9pm. Part two will air on Thursday at 9pm.