A York College graduate who was caught up in the Manchester Arena bombing has started a new job helping the NHS recreate disaster scenes.
Yasmin Reevell, from Sutton upon Derwent, still suffers from PTSD after surviving the May 2017 attack at the Ariana Grande concert that resulted in 22 people losing their lives and hundreds more being injured.
But she was determined to help the emergency services respond to such situations in the best possible way.
So she is now utilising the skills acquired during her media make-up, special effects and hair design degree at the York College University Centre in a new job with medical simulation specialists Simbodies.
It is a job that sees Yasmin, 24, design and produce bodies and body parts for simulated patients needing urgent medical attention – a specialism that has seen four of her fellow college graduates also employed in the same role.
Thirsk-based Simbodies also work with the military to replicate combat settings, ensuring that medical students experience a highly immersive training environment and learn high-risk procedures in a low-risk secure situation.
Having gone through such a terrifying ordeal, Yasmin has a genuine awareness of the importance of the work she is now doing, making her believe there was an element of fate attached to the job opportunity.
She said: “Without the prosthetics and silicone dummies that we give to the military and NHS, they wouldn’t know what to do when things like the Manchester attack happen.
“I’ve been doing the job for just over a month now and everything happens for a reason.”
Just turned 18
Yasmin attended the American singer’s pop concert just over a fortnight after her 18th birthday as she was coming to the end of two years studying Level 3 Music courses at York College.
She left the region to study music at university but, having struggled to settle as her PTSD intensified, Yasmin decided to drop out.
In 2020, she then returned to York College to pursue a different academic path.
“I really liked the sound of the course, especially as it had three different aspects to it – hair, media make-up and special effects.
“I had to do a portfolio at the beginning to demonstrate that I could do make-up and, from the moment I started the degree, it was really good.”
Having battled such strong personal challenges to resume her studies, Yasmin then demonstrated tremendous courage to choose PTSD as the theme for her major project on the course.
Despite the concerns of her tutors that emotions from the past could be triggered, Yasmin was intent on sharing her story to help others who might be suffering from the disorder and highlight the importance of understanding the long-lasting effects of PTSD.
“I did wonder if it was the right thing to be doing,” Yasmin admits. “But, in the grand scheme of things, I knew I’d been through enough to know how to deal with it. It was helping me and other people by shining a light on it.”