Manchester Arena Inquiry: Lisa Lees was an 'angel' for terminally ill children

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Media caption,

'Lisa would be the one getting the party going and dancing the night away'

Lisa Lees, 43, "had a passion to succeed" and still had "much more to give", her husband has told the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena attacks.

The "pen portrait" read by the family's lawyer revealed how the mother-of-two died six months before the birth of her second grandchild.

A series of hearings are taking place at which relatives of the 22 people killed in the 2017 bombing will provide a personal insight into the lives of their loved ones. and how their lives were changed forever.

Lisa was a beauty tutor who had recently received a degree and also set up an organisation giving aromatherapy and massage treatment to ease the pain of dying youngsters.

"[She] was a true angel, caring and beautiful, both inside and out," said her husband Anthony, whom she married in 1999.

She was "the heart and soul of our family" and the "first one to get the party moving" who "had so much more to give in life", he said.

Oldham-born Lisa got "fantastic feedback" from the families of the children she used to massage with oil, her husband continued.

She put 110% into teaching and was always ready to help her students when they phoned her.

"That was just the fantastic caring nature of Lisa," her husband said.

'Big impact'

"Lisa was such a positive person and was always telling our two girls they could achieve anything in life if they put the time and effort into it like Lisa did.

"They and I wouldn't be the people we are today without Lisa's guidance.

"Not only did Lisa put 100% into her work she also did with her daughters India and Lauren and her grandson Jayden. Sadly Lisa never got to meet her second grandson who was born in December 2017.

"Lisa had so much more to give in life and if she was still here she would have a big impact on many more people's lives."

Her daughter India, 18, said her mum was "the most beautiful, selfless and positive person I knew".

Lisa and her friend Alison Howe were killed as they waited for their daughters in the Manchester Arena foyer.

Image source, Manchester Arena Inquiry
Image caption,
Lisa Lees' daughter India said her mother was her best friend

India added: "At first I felt very lost without my mum and knowing that my best friend wouldn't be able to see me achieve things but I know my mum will always be looking down on us .

"I love and miss her so much and I always will. And I think about her lots and lots every day."

'Infectious laugh'

Lisa's mother Elaine Hunter said: "Someone very special was taken from us all that day and I speak to her often but nothing can replace the joy she brought when people heard her."

Growing up Lisa was described as a very independent child, who represented England in swimming, was a member of the Church girls brigade and had a strong work ethic.

She was signed as a model but became pregnant at 17 and despite her young age she was a good mother determined to also have a career, the inquiry was told. She studied at college and eventually gained a degree in business management at Huddersfield University.

The chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, said: "It is clear that Lisa had achieved a great deal in her life and she used her talents to benefit a very large number of people.

"Had she been allowed to live, she would have continued to be a power for good, not just for her family, but for many more people."

A song composed and played by her brother Lee, inspired by his sister, ended the tribute.

Image source, Manchester Arena Inquiry
Image caption,
Lisa Lees gained a degree in business management at Huddersfield University.

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