Chris Parker came to Manchester Arena as an anonymous beggar, positioning himself near the crowd of exiting Ariana Grande fans in hopes that he might pocket
some spare change.
Tragedy altered those plans:
“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,” he told the wire service. “There
was people lying on the floor everywhere.
“I saw a little girl … she had no legs,” he added. “I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said, ‘Where is your mum and daddy?’”
He is haunted by what he encountered, he said.
“There were nuts and bolts all over the floor,” Parker told the Press Association. “People had holes in their back.”
“It’s the screams I can’t get over, and the smell. … I don’t like to say it, but it smelled like burning flesh.”
There was also a wounded woman — “in her 60s,” he guessed — whom Parker tried to comfort.
“She passed away in my arms,” he said. “I haven’t stopped crying.”
Chris Parker and Steve Jones were two people who helped; there were more:
“There was a lot of homeless people that stayed there and helped, and that’s what we done,” said Jones, a former bricklayer who has been homeless for about
a year. “And obviously when we seen children like that with blood … having to pull nails and stuff out of their arms and I pulled one out of this little
In response to the heroic deeds of Chris and Steve, donation sites have been set up.
Here is the one for Chris:
The crowdfunding campaign also elicited a response from a woman claiming to be Parker’s mother, who said she had lost touch with her adult son.
“This is my son and I am desperate to get in touch with him,” Jessica Parker wrote. “We have been estranged for a very long time, and I had no idea he
was homeless. I am very proud of him, and I think he might need me right now.”