The mother of a homeless man who emerged as a hero in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing says she’s desperate to reunite with him.
Sprowston woman Jessica Parker only realised her 33-year-old son Chris Parker was homeless after seeing media reports about his brave deeds. Chris was praised for his efforts to rescue a young girl with serious wounds after the blast.
"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 told The Sun.
Jessica, learning of her son’s whereabouts, shared a heartfelt plea on Facebook.
“This is my son who has been estranged from me for a long while. I had no idea he was homeless but he was extremely brave last night. Please get in touch with me Chris Parker,” she wrote. "No matter what the past, he has done so well and I am very proud of him."
The mother told the Norwich Evening News that Chris’s heroic actions were “exactly the sort of thing” her son would do.
“He wouldn’t think twice about helping those poor people. I’m extremely proud of him and I just feel like I need to get in contact," she explained. "He was knocked down in the blast and he so easily could have died — I realised that if that had happened I might have never known about it, which has really upset me the most."
A GoFoundMe page for Chris, who has been homeless in Manchester for about a year, has so far raised $73,214 AUD.
Homeless men are being hailed as heroes for helping the wounded after the Manchester Arena terror attack.
Chris Parker, 33, was outside of the stadium when the bomb went off, leaving 22 people dead and 59 injured.
He said that people were exiting the show normally when he heard a loud bang. "I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming," he recalled.
"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."
"I saw a little girl … she had no legs," he said. "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'."
"I haven’t stopped crying," Parker told The Sun.
“The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert."
Another homeless man, Stephen Jones, was sleeping near the arena when he heard the bomb go off.
The 35-year-old told ITV News, "It's just instinct to go and help if someone needs your help and it was children."
"It was a lot of children with blood all over them - crying and screaming," he said.
"We were having to pull nails out of their arms and a couple out of this little girl's face."
Others in the area offered spare rooms to those in need using the hashtag #RoomForManchester, with supermarkets and cafes donating food and taxi drivers dropping people home for free.