A DOCTOR who cared for those wounded following the Manchester Arena bombing has recalled his experience of the horrific night.

Jeremy Jarratt, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Bolton Hospital and Beaumont Hospital in Lostock, was on call on the evening of May 22 when the explosion at the arena happened.

Having finished his shift at the Royal Bolton at 8pm, Mr Jarratt was at his home in Didsbury when he saw the newsflash pop up on his phone at around 11.30pm.

The 49-year-old was then contacted by the hospital on his pager and rushed into work, where everyone was briefed about what had happened and what to expect.

He said he could remember the night ‘vividly’ and saw more than 20 people come into the hospital, 16 of whom were admitted.

He said: “Because Bolton is a bit further out of Manchester, when I arrived there were no patients there.

“We prepared A&E to receive a number of casualties and made sure we were all ready.

“We had a briefing about what had gone on and what we would expect to get. I can’t remember the time the first patients came in.

“We were designated to take the lower priority patients, not those with severe life-threatening injuries.

“We started receiving patients quite quickly at around midnight.

“We had some significantly injured patients but none of them was life-threatening. They were nearly all shrapnel injuries.”

“The bomb was packed with nuts and bolts basically so there were lots of shrapnel injuries.”

Dr Jarratt said he went around the patients and assessed all of them to see if any needed immediate surgery.

He then began scheduling people for surgery to remove the shrapnel from their bodies, which all took place throughout the morning.

He juggled these responsibilities with his scheduled appointments before leaving the hospital at 2pm.

Dr Jarratt praised the staff at the hospital, saying that everyone ‘really pulled together’.

He said: “The patients needed multiple trips to the theatre so they were there for some weeks afterwards and I saw many of them regularly.

“It was quite hard because they have suffered significant psychological effects afterwards and it is tough for them when you’re trying to talk about what’s going to happen in the surgery.

“It was particularly hard for the nurses who were there every day with the patients and many of them had relatives in other hospitals.

“There were people who knew they had lost relatives and people who did not know what had happened to their relatives at that stage.”

The consultant, who has worked at the Royal Bolton and Beaumont hospitals for 12 years, said the reality of the situation did not sink in until he finished his shift that afternoon.

He said: “At the time it was very much focused on patient care and getting everybody sorted. That’s what you do as a job, so you get on and do it.

“The wider impact of it doesn’t dawn upon you. Yes you think about it but it does not settle in until you sit down and take it in.

“The enormity of it didn’t really hit me until I woke up from my sleep after I left the hospital. That’s when it really sank in.”

And he said his daughter Emily, aged 14, was planning on going to the Ariana Grande gig.

But he said she ‘fortunately’ missed out when there was a mix-up with the tickets, adding that he and his wife Kath would have gone to pick her up from the foyer where the bomb exploded.

Dr Jarratt, who has been based in Bolton since his medical training on and off since 1994, praised the Manchester community for their response and particularly the One Love Manchester concert.

He was invited to the concert but he said he ‘regrettably’ could not go and watched it at home with his family.

He said: “My family watched the concert and there would be waves of emotion.

“It was an amazing response to be honest. Nothing can really prepare you for these things. It is all down to the whole team and everyone I worked with. We all worked as a team. Everybody really pulled together.

“Every hospital did the same, you could see everybody got stuck in and dealt with what they had to deal with.

“With the city’s response, it made you proud to be from Manchester. The response afterwards in the square in the city centre and the subsequent concert, which I was invited to but regrettably couldn’t go was amazing.

“It was really emotional for everybody.”

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