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Manchester bomb victim’s torment at surviving terror attack after best pal died

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A MUM who lost her best friend in the Manchester terror attack says that she feels "guilty every day" that she didn't die too.

Traumatised Caroline Davis had just walked into the foyer of the Manchester Arena with best pal Wendy Fawell when the bomb exploded - killing 22.

Wendy, who was 50, died instantly while Caroline suffered shrapnel wounds, a dislocated shoulder and was knocked unconscious.

Remembering Wendy on the one year anniversary of the attack today, Caroline said her death had left a "massive hole" in her life.

Caroline, 40, said: "Wendy was the most kind caring woman I've ever met and she would do anything for anyone. She loved kids.

"She was like a second mum to my kids and they loved her, I feel guilty every day that I survived and she didn't.

"We were stood so close to each other but it all happened so quick. I didn't see a flash of light or hear a bang. Wendy was slightly closer to the bomber than me, but not by much."

Caroline and Wendy had been shopping while Caroline's sons, Ben and Lee, and Wendy's daughter Charlotte, 16, were watching the concert.

They had only just arrived back in the arena's foyer to collect their kids when the bomb went off.

She added: "I bought tickets as a Christmas present so I feel guilty that if I'd not bought them, Wendy would still be here.

"She was a massive part of our lives, for over two years we practically lived together as one big family."

Since the attack Caroline, 40, and her two sons, Ben, 13, and Lee, 17, who were at the concert but physically unharmed, have all suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

They have all received treatment on the NHS but Caroline has abandoned the sessions, preferring instead to talk to other survivors about the trauma.

Caroline has suffered permanent damage to her arm and will require even more operations in the future as a result of her injuries.

She said: "Initially my injuries were a hole in my head, which I had stitched, two bolts in my lower leg, my heel was sliced open from one side to the other in three places and I had dislocated my elbow.

"But it turned to be a lot worse.

"Ligaments had been destroyed so I had to have them reconstructed.

"Whatever had been in the bomb had burned my arm from the inside out, leaving a huge hole, I had to have skin grafts and will need more operations on top of that."

Caroline's other son Aidan, who is nine, has also suffered after seeing his mum and brothers struggle after the attack.

"I was in and out of hospital for two to three months," said Caroline.

"Aidan found it really hard seeing me so hurt. It's been tough on all of us."

Despite a difficult year the family, from Otley, West Yorkshire, they have bravely vowed to return to Manchester on the anniversary.

They will go back to the arena and lay flowers for Wendy and the other 21 people who died.

"It's all going to come back raw for us," says Caroline.

"It's going to be an emotional time the run up to it and on the day.

"But are going back to Manchester on Tuesday. I'm not really sure how we're going to cope but I'm sure we won't be the only ones."

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