A Grenfell survivor who texted his last goodbyes to his fiancé while trapped in the blaze is to tie the knot on Boxing Day.
Chauffeur Farhad Neda believed he would never see Nasrin Sadat,23, again as flames ripped across the top floors of the West London tower block.
As smoke and flames crept towards his 22nd floor flat, he sent her a message that simply read: “The building is on fire. Goodbye, I love you.”
Distraught Nasrin woke to the text and boarded the first flight to London from Amsterdam, where she was studying to be an architect, praying he would survive.
In a remarkable show of strength and courage, Farhad fought his way down 23 flights of stairs, carrying his weak mother Flora, 56, with him to safety.
But the terrifying ordeal left its toll, and Farhad was later put in a medically induced coma.
Tragically, his dad, Saber, 57, died in the fire.
In a bittersweet tribute to him, Farhad and Nasrin will now marry in his honour.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Farhad said: “The last time my whole family were together it was to bury my dad. Now we’ll reunite for a happy occasion.
“It will be hard to know my dad isn’t there standing at my shoulder, guiding me. But he was so happy about our wedding, I know he’d want it to go ahead.”
Farhad, 25, and Nasrin had been engaged for almost 18 months after meeting through family when the high-rise block in London caught alight on June 14 last year.
Nasrin said: “I was woken up at 3.30am by a text message from Farhad, saying, ‘the building is on fire. Goodbye, I love you.’
“When I finally got through to him, his voice was something I had never heard before – shaking anddistressed.
“Panicking, I threw on the first clothes I could find, grabbed my passport and caught the first flight to London.
“As we landed at 6.30am the city was covered in thick black smoke.”
The fire had been blazing for several hours, and firefighters were still struggling to control it.
In all, 72 people inside the tower lost their lives.
But in hospital, doctors had managed to keep Farhad stable and put off placing him in a coma until Nasrin arrived.
She said: “He was covered in black soot and smelled of burning and his voice was a barely-there whisper.
“He just mouthed, ‘I love you. We must find my dad’.”
Farhad was in a coma for three days at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital while his mum was in critical care at Kings’ College Hospital.
Nasrin waited 10 days after he woke up to tell her fiancé that his father was among the suspected dead.
The young couple cancelled their August wedding as DNA tests confirmed Saber’s death, and Farhad struggled with losing his dad, his home and all his possessions.
They were forced to live in a hotel and relied on food handouts. But months later, Farhad went back to work at his father’s chauffeur business – and suggested they marry in his honour, at Christmas.
He said: “Organising the wedding has been a lifeline for my mum. She’s done everything, all the planning, making lots of decisions.
“It’s given us something to focus on, a happy occasion to look forward to.”
On December 26, the pair will finally get married in a traditional Afghan wedding with 400 family and friends.
A public inquiry into the fire has reached the end of its first phase but the cause of the blaze is still unknown.
Several council members from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have resigned over revelations that the cladding on the outside of the tower was not fit for purpose and allowed the fire to spread quickly.
But for Farhad and Nasrin, hope for the future and the memory of Saber are the most important things to focus on.
Nasrin added: “If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that things can be replaced but people and memories can’t.”
Grenfell Tower fire
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