A FATHER, who was left paralysed in the Manchester Arena terror attack, has been given hope for the future by his friends, who are supporting him through his ordeal.

Martin Hibbert was just 10 metres away from the bomb when it detonated on May 22, and suffered 'life-changing injuries of the worst kind’.

He is paralysed from the belly button down, and will be dependent on a wheelchair. An x-ray picture shows a metal item embedded in his spinal cord.

The 40-year-old is undergoing intensive physiotherapy treatment in Southport and has described the support he has received as ‘motivational’.

A fundraising campaign is under way to raise at least £10,000 to support him and his family.

He said: "It is overwhelming and a great feeling that so many people are supporting me, especially considering a lot are school friends I haven’t seen in a while.

"It’s brought a lot of people together and it’s inspiring me to go through the various treatments and physio. Having the support is motivational."

Mr Hibbert sustained 22 shrapnel wounds. The majority of the metal fragments — nuts and bolts — entered his back and buttocks, while four fragments hit his right foot, breaking his ankle and tibia.

His horrific injuries included shrapnel going straight through his left bicep, leaving a golf-ball sized hole, and a metal nut hitting his neck, severing his jugular vein and partially rupturing his carotid artery, causing severe blood loss.

Mr Hibbert needed more than 16 pints of blood and underwent a five hour life-saving operation to remove the shrapnel. He is still in severe pain.

But the managing director of Synergy Sports Management is determined to get back to as normal life as possible.

Mr Hibbert spent five weeks in hospital in intensive care and HDU and now he is undergoing physio treatment at a spinal centre in Southport.

He said: "I approach each day with a view to getting out as soon as possible and being with my family again, to lead as normal a life as possible. "

Friends are raising the money to help the family in a practical way as well as providing emotional support along.

Mr Hibbert said: "As the main bread winner and no sick pay at the moment it means there is one less thing to think about. It gives us peace of mind and takes the extra worry away. It allows me to concentrate 100 per cent on getting fit."

Mr Hibbert lived in Bolton for 33 years before moving to Bradford and is planning on moving back to Bolton after his treatment.

The events of the night are still too terrible for Mr Hibbert to talk about.

His friend Matthew Eddleston said: "Martin remembers everything, it is very hard to talk about as he saw a lot of extremely harrowing and distressing things which he is undergoing counselling for.

"The long term psychological effect will require careful management.

"Once he came around in hospital, Martin didn’t sleep for two weeks as he was scared and didn’t want to close his eyes.

"He had to take sleeping tablets.

"His initial feelings are not fuelled by anger. He sees it as ‘fight or flight’. The only way forward is to be positive and focus on getting better. Blame and anger isn’t helpful. The best response is to get back to a normal life and not let the terrorist win. He is defiant. His outlook is truly inspirational"

A Justgiving Page has been set up with a number of events planned to raise money for the family.

So far they include a 30-mile sponsored walk across the three peaks of Lancashire, England - Rivington Pike, Darwen Tower and Peel Tower on Sunday, August 27; a celebrity T20 Cricket Match at Edgworth Cricket Club on Sunday, September 3 and taking part in the Manchester half marathon on October 15.