Homeless hero of the Manchester attack reunited with his mum for the first time in five years
She got in touch after she saw him in the news and they've rekindled their relationship
As the nation continues to come to terms with the bombing in Manchester last week, there is no doubt that it is helped by the stories of kindness and bravery that have emerged both in the immediate aftermath of the attack and in the days since.
And one of the stories that hit the headlines was that of Chris Parker, a 33-year-old homeless man who had been begging in the foyer of Manchester Arena when the bomb went off.
He instinctively raced back inside to help victims, wrapping an injured eight-year-old girl in a merchandise T-shirt and comforting her, before trying to help a woman who was in her sixties and badly hurt. He told Associated Press last Tuesday: "She passed away in my arms. I haven't stopped crying."
In the wake of his story, a crowdfunding page was started to help him. The total raised has now passed £50,000, but perhaps even more important is that a message posted on it by his estranged mother has enabled her to regain contact with him.
She did not know he was homeless until she saw him on TV and initially posted:
Now Jessica Parker, of Sprowston, has been reunited with her son, meeting him at the weekend for the first time in five years.
"It was heart wrenching, absolutely heart wrenching to know that he actually still wanted his mum. He told me very matter-of-factly what he did and said, 'Mum, I've just done what anybody else would do'.
"I said, 'I don't think so Chris, I think you did something really wonderful and you need to remember that'. He's going to be alright, I know he is."
Last Tuesday after the attack he told Associated Press: “Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else. As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming. It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help. There was people lying on the floor everywhere. I saw a little girl. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said, ‘Where is your mum and daddy?’ She said, ‘My dad is at work, my mum is up there.’”
He added that he thought the girl’s mother had died from her injuries. He then found a woman who he believed to be in her sixties with serious leg and head injuries. “She passed away in my arms,” he said. “She was in her sixties and she had been with her family. I haven’t stopped crying. The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert.”
If you would like to donate to help Chris Parker, you can do so here.
And to donate to the victims and their families, you can click here.