At 15, Freya Lewis has suffered more heartbreak and trauma than most people will hopefully suffer in a lifetime.
Lewis is survivor of a suicide bomb that was targeted at Manchester Arena on May 22 last year.
Since then she’s gone on to raise £27,000 for the hospital that saved her life, and her amazing efforts were rewarded last night when not only did she receive the NHS Heroes Young Fundraiser Award, but she also got to meet her absolute hero, Louis Tomlinson.
Barely able to believe her eyes when the former One Direction star surprised her on stage, the inspirational teen immediately broke down in tears.
“I love you,” she sobbed as Louis sweetly wrapped her up in a tender hug.
“I just want to say I think you are absolutely incredible, honestly,” he told an overcome Freya.
“I think what’s remarkable at such a young age is your strength. To go through such tragedy and to raise so much money and to have that level of endeavour is amazing.
“You really touched me with that story, and I just want to give you another hug,” he finished, pulling her in for another well-deserved cuddle.
Reluctant to leave his side, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Freya – who was left fighting for her life at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after suffering multiple fractures, lacerations and burns – dedicated the award to Nell.
“I miss you every single day but I continue to look up to you and I love you,” she said of her friend who was killed instantly in the blast.
At first, doctors feared Freya would never walk again, but after undergoing five surgeries in 11 days and spending three months in a wheelchair, she proved them wrong and is set to do the Great Manchester Run next weekend.
“She is so determined. She has shown the most incredible strength,” her proud mum Alison said.