Lorraine Kelly has responded to someone who questioned her claim that she suffers from PTSD as a result of reporting on the Lockerbie incident.
Lorraine was one of the first journalists to arrive on the site of the terror incident in December 1988, when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded mid-air over the small Scottish town, killing 270 people.
The broadcaster, now 63, witnessed firsthand the horrible aftermath of the accident before the authorities blocked off the scene.
She has recently returned to the location for a new documentary, Return To Lockerbie With Lorraine Kelly, in which she admits to still dealing with what she witnessed.
Ahead of it airing, Lorraine has spoken about how many people ‘didn’t appreciate the scale of what happened and the effect it had on people here’.
In an interview, she also admitted it took her a long time to acknowledge that she was suffering the effects of PTSD.
‘I was just doing my job. Nobody I loved was murdered – and they were murdered as far as I am concerned,’ she said of the attack, which saw Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi convicted in 2001 of planting the bomb on the plane.
‘For years, I always said, “I do not have the right to this, to have these feelings”.
‘PTSD is not me, that’s for all the people who went through losing people or were living there at the time. Or had been a soldier in a war zone,’ she added while speaking to The Telegraph.
She continued: ‘I work with Help for Heroes and so many people in the forces say, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’, and they are not fine. But I am fine. I was only reporting on it. That’s not to say I wasn’t very badly affected.’
Lorraine, on the other hand, retaliated after someone made a comment online about her honest revelation.
‘Well, just think of what it did to the people were actually working on the recovery and collection of humans remains. Think about the destruction in Lockerbie. PTSD really!?,’ the X, formerly Twitter, user wrote on the social media site.
Lorraine responded: ‘That’s exactly the point. I always (and still do) feel I’ve no right to have suffered any sort of trauma compared with the bereaved, the first responders and the people of Lockerbie.
‘I was only a reporter. But in the doco I learned PTSD is a normal response. I’m fine. I’m lucky,’ she added.
Lorraine speaks to Drew Young, one of a team of volunteers instructed to protect the nosecone of the plane that had crashed in a field close to Tundergarth Church, about the impact on the inhabitants and first responders in the documentary.
‘A lot of folk wouldn’t talk about it… It’s like a shutter coming down. You know, you got on with it,’ he recalled.
Recalling her own traumatic memories, she said: ‘It was horrendous, eerie, really quiet, with lots of weird smells. But it is the aviation fuel that I remember most.’
Next month marks the 35th anniversary of Lorraine’s arrival to the scene, which she described to the publication as ‘the set of a catastrophe movie’.
‘The exhausted rescue services searched in vain for people to save. All they could do that night, and in the days to come, was locate and recover the bodies of all of the dead,’ she shared.
‘Looking back, as we trudged through that field, I realise I was only able to function and do my job because it felt so utterly unreal. It was like the set of a disaster movie.’
While she didn’t seek counselling at the time, Lorraine said her own form of ‘therapy’ involved speaking to her father about what she saw.
One of the major reasons the presenter created the documentary was to raise awareness about PTSD and encourage those who are suffering to get assistance.
According to reports, 73% of those who lived in Lockerbie at the time of the incident today suffer from PTSD.
Return To Lockerbie With Lorraine Kelly airs at 9pm on Wednesday November 15 on ITV1. Lorraine airs weekdays from 9am on ITV1.