Wendy Fawell, 50, from Otley, West Yorkshire, was approximately five meters away from suicide bomber Salman Abedi when he detonated his device at Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.
A mother killed in the Manchester Arena bombing moved apart from her friend seconds before the blast so they did not miss their children leaving the Ariana Grande concert, an inquiry has been heard.
Wendy Fawell (50), a West Yorkshire woman, left Otley to meet Caroline Davies at the arena exit doors. She was there to pick up Charlotte, her daughter, and Ms. Davies’s sons Ben, and Lee.
As more people exited the arena, the mothers separated. Ms. Fawell was just five meters from Salman Abedi (22) who set off his suicide bomber device on May 22, 2017, at 10.31 pm.
The head injury sustained by the after-care manager of a primary school was considered unsurvivable. As Julia Tiplady, her mother, and their children Adam, and Charlotte, watched from home, Ms. Davies’ final movements were shown to the world.
The inquiry heard Mrs. Fawell loved her job and her children, who were “always paramount in her thoughts and deeds”. She was described as a “fun person” and “the life and soul of a party” whose caring nature “meant she tried to mother everyone”.
Sir John Saunders, chairman of the public inquiry into the bombing, said: “Wendy Fawell loved children, not just her own but others that she worked with. Not only did she love working with them but she had a great talent for it and many children benefited from her care.
“She died as she lived, doing things for other people.”
Nell Jones, 14, from Goostrey, Cheshire, was also pronounced dead in the City Room and died from unsurvivable multiple injuries, the inquiry heard. She attended the concert with a friend who recalled how much they both enjoyed the performance and were “singing and dancing from the very first song”.
They left the Arena after the final song and Miss Jones was walking towards the corner of the foyer when the bomb was detonated just two meters from her. On Thursday, her parents Ernie, Jayne, Sam, Will, and Joe attended the hearing, as well as her cousins and best friend.
The inquiry was told that every day was an adventure for Miss Jones who “lit up” her family with her youthful energy and passion for life. Her mother remembers her daughter as a “beautiful girl, inside and out”.
Sir John said: “Nell Jones was a talented 14-year-old and on May 22 2017 she didn’t have a care in the world. She had a successful and happy life opening out in front of her. She had everything. She was a good friend and loved life.”
“To lose all that is a tragedy and is so unfair. I can only say to her family, friends and all those who knew her and loved her, I feel for your loss.”