Family tribute to 'strong' Chloe McGurk as teen recovers from stabbing
The family of a teenager from Glengormley seriously injured during a knife attack in Manchester have paid tribute to her as she recovers in hospital.
Chloe McGurk (19) was on a shopping trip to the English city when a man went on a stabbing rampage in Arndale shopping centre, injuring five people.
In a statement released to UTV yesterday, her family said Chloe suffered "serious injuries" to her arm and chest during the attack, and required surgery.
"She is currently recovering in hospital with her family at her side," the statement read.
A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and has been detained under the Mental Health Act.
The family thanked their relatives and friends "for their support and messages at this incredibly difficult time".
"Our Chloe is strong and resilient - a loving daughter, sister and granddaughter. For a 19-year-old to be injured in such a manner is every parent's nightmare and we therefore ask that she is given space to deal with what has happened in private," the family statement read.
"We wish to pay tribute to her friends who not only witnessed the incident but who stayed with our daughter throughout.
"We want to thank the emergency services at the scene and all the hospital staff who continue to look after Chloe."
A friend of Chloe's, Ellen Da Conceicao, previously described witnessing the attack.
"All we wanted to do was come over to Manchester for a girly weekend, but instead the first shopping centre we step into this happens," she wrote.
"We're all so shaken and can't for the life of us understand how someone could be so low to do this to our Chloe and other victims.
"I can't get that man's face and (sight of the) knife out of my head and probably won't for a very long time.
"Chloe is on the mend and she thanks everyone for her support.
"We haven't left her side and we should hopefully be home within the next few days after interviewing etc, for everyone asking. Thank you all for the support, we all appreciate it."
The Arndale Centre is near Manchester Arena and Victoria railway station, both of which have been the scenes of terror attacks.
Twenty-two people were killed in May 2017 when Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb in the Manchester Arena after an Ariane Grande concert. The youngest victim was just eight.
Last New Year's Eve, three people including a police officer were seriously injured after a 25-year-old man launched a knife attack on passers-by. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and will face trial in November.