Saffie Roussos was the youngest victim of the May 22 attack at an Ariana Grande concert

By Greg Hanlon Simon Perry
July 06, 2017 10:36 AM

Ariana Grande posted a tribute to the youngest victim of the May 22 Manchester suicide bombing in recognition of what would have been Saffie Roussos’ ninth birthday, which was Tuesday.

“Saffie, we’re [thinking] of you baby,” the pop star wrote Wednesday night, alongside an emoji of a birthday cake.

Saffie was one of 22 victims killed after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive as concertgoers were leaving Grande’s packed show. More than 250 were injured, including 23 critically.

Saffie’s mother Lisa was among those injured in the bombing and had been in a coma. Many feared that Lisa did not know her daughter was dead – even as the world mourned for her.

On Tuesday, Saffie’s father, Andrew Roussos, revealed in an interview with the BBC that Lisa awoke from her coma and knew that her daughter was dead without having to be told.

“She looked at me and said to me, ‘Saffie’s gone, isn’t she?’ ” Roussos recounted. “I was dreading it. She just looked at me and said, ‘She’s gone, isn’t she?’ I just looked at her and said, ‘Yeah.’ She goes ‘I knew.’”

Roussos said of Saffie, “She was a joker. She was a huge character. She was just everything you could wish for in a little girl. She loved dancing, music, gymnastics. If she wanted something, she would do it,” he said.

Saffie Roussos

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Source: BBC News

In an interview with PEOPLE, Chris Upton, the headteacher at the Tarleton Community Primary School where Saffie studied, remembered her as “simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly.”

Upton said that Saffie “was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”

Saffie was the second victim of the attack to be publicly identified.

Paul Reid, who was outside the arena to pick up a friend, was with Saffie during the final moments of her life. He found her lying on the floor, and he comforted her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

“I asked her her name and I thought she said ‘Sophie,’ and I asked her age,” Reid told PEOPLE last month. “Then I realized she was struggling to talk and she asked, ‘Where’s my mum?’”