Her Brother Died In The Manchester Attack The Day Before Exams. Despite Everything, She Aced Them.

"Martyn would just be really proud."

Dan Hett's brother, Martyn, was one of the 23 victims of the Manchester arena bombing on May 22, 2017. In a series of tweets, per Mashable, Dan is now calling attention to his younger sister, Nikita Murray, for a sweet and empowering reason.

According to Dan, his 16-year-old sister took several GCSEs — single-subject exams given in the UK after two years of study — the day after Martyn's tragic death. And not only did Nikita sit for the difficult tests, she aced them.

In the ten tweets posted on August 24, Dan heaped praise on his younger sister — whom he called "an actual hero" — for her focus and determination in the midst of such pain and heartbreak.


Dan then describes how he saw Nikita putting her shoes on to head to school just hours after Martyn's death, though he couldn't understand why because "it had been such a horrific few days."

When Dan realized Nikita was going to school to take multiple GCSEs, he said he was "floored" by her attitude and resilience. The proud older brother even revealed Nikita had been given the option of not taking the exams, but she chose to soldier on.

Nikita's father (and Martyn and Dan's step dad) Stuart Murray was similarly astonished. "It was Nikita's choice to carry on with her exams," he explains to The Sun. "One was the day after the attack. We knew she had potential but the fact she chose to carry on shows such resilience and fight. It just goes to show you shouldn't let anything stop you from reaching your dreams."

As Dan sees it, "It was hands-down the toughest s—t I have ever seen."

But for Nikita, it was actually a welcome distraction. "I'm good at school, it's the one thing I have, so right after when there were loads of people at home I could get out of the house and focus on something else," she tells Buzzfeed. "The house was full of people the whole time, so in a weird way it was nice to sit an exam, have something to focus on, and school is my thing."

And while it's clear Dan and the rest of the family would have been proud of Nikita no matter how she performed on the tests, her effort under incredibly difficult circumstances was rewarded with nearly a dozen As. For reference, passing a GCSE is generally considered equivalent to a US high school diploma in a given subject. In other words, it's no easy feat.

Dan ended his thread by telling people to "be inspired" by his younger sister, and it looks like he's getting his wish. The entire thread has thousands of likes and retweets, and several hundred comments congratulating Nikita on a job very well done.

"This is absolutely incredible. She sounds like a force of nature," wrote U.K. broadcaster Lauren Laverne. "Must run in the family."

Though Dan later added his sister is "quite private," he also said it's "lovely to see" people supporting her and connecting with the family's story. 

Manchester's strength and resilience was apparent even hours after the deadly attack, and it's refreshing to see Nikita exhibit those qualities as well.

Best of all, Nikita tells Buzzfeed Martyn would have been thrilled with her accomplishments. "He'd just be really proud," she said. "And he'd have been tweeting about it."


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