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Manchester Arena attack: Survivor Martin Hibbert defies diagnosis

A survivor of the Manchester Arena attack has defied medical experts who told him he would never walk again.

Martin Hibbert, who was the closest casualty to the bomb blast to survive, suffered 22 shrapnel wounds.

The dad, from Bolton, was left paralysed from the waist down.

However, after brain-training treatment in Australia, he has been able to stand up to kiss his wife after regaining some movement in his legs.

“I’ve not kissed her stood up in over two years and we had a dance,” Mr Hibbert said.

“Even my spinal consultant is blown away as I shouldn’t be able to do that.

“It felt amazing… but because I’ve been sat down for so long, my body almost goes into vertigo and I have to get a bucket.”

Mr Hibbert told BBC Breakfast he travelled to Australia to undergo neurophysics treatment, also known as neurotherapy, which trains the brain to send messages in a different way.

“Within the first day I had regained my balance to the point where I could even lift my leg up to put my shoe on, so I knew straightway that this was going to be amazing,” he said.

Twenty-two people were killed in the attack on 22 May 2017 at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande.

Many more were injured, including Mr Hibbert’s daughter Eve.

“I took 22 bolts and thankfully shielded her from the majority, but one unfortunately got through and hit her in the head and pretty much went straight through,” he said.

“She suffered a catastrophic brain injury but she’s a little miracle and has baffled experts.”

“You’re almost saying goodbye to people in your head but I was determined to stay alive just to make sure I got Eve out,” Mr Hibbert added.

“To wake up a few weeks later and be alive, of course, I’m going to smile and of course I’m not going to waste any time.”

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BBC News – Health