Nell Jones, 14, is one of the 22 victims who got killed in the Manchester massacre, hours after posting a selfie on Snapchat with the caption: ‘Ariana Grande now X’
The farmer’s daughter was celebrating her 14th birthday by attending the first concert of her life with her best friend Freya Lewis, who suffered terrible injuries.
Two hero parents shared how they consoled Freya and used a table as stretcher while searching for their own children.
Survivor’s father Nick, who accompanied the girls to the concert, said the tragic situation in which they are left is ‘impossible to describe’.
He said: ‘After 10-and-a-half hours in surgery she is stable.
‘The staff at the hospital have been incredible. Freya has been sewn, bolted, drilled and bandaged back together.
‘It is going to be a long climb but we are on the first step. We really know how much you all care.
‘Our priority now is to concentrate on our children and to make sense of what has happened.’
Nell was raised on her parents’ turkey farm and went to Holmes Chapel comprehensive school.
‘Nell was one of the nicest people you would ever meet,’ said Rachelle Watts, 43, the mother of Olivia Watts, 15, Nell’s close friend who has known her for 11 years.
‘She was fun loving, extremely kind and very intelligent. She loved drama and was very good at maths. She achieved silver in a junior maths challenge.
‘Nell was really looking forward to her first concert and she went shopping the weekend before for her outfit in Manchester.
‘She had a great sense of humour and was always happy and friendly.’
‘I will never have a friend like her again, she was irreplaceable,’ Olivia added.
‘She was really into fashion, make-up and shopping. Her favourite song was New Man by Ed Sheeran.’
She said: ‘Nell was two years older but she took my daughter under her wing and saw her through. She was an angel, and always has been.’
Speaking about her fellow pupils, form tutor David Wheeler said: ‘It feels like they have lost a sister not a classmate.’