Listen to a mother’s desperate Triple-0 call as her baby lay unresponsive in the back of her car – and the incredible way she was able to SAVE her little girl
- Mum called Triple-0 call as her toddler had a heart attack in back seat of her car
- Lily, two, who has a pre-existing heart condition, survived thanks to police help
- Ten police cars in the area now carry defibrillators due to what happened to Lily
A mum’s desperate Triple-0 call for help as her toddler had a heart attack in the back seat has been played for the first time, as the family reunited with two officers who helped to save the little girl’s life on the side of a road.
Lily McGowan, two, was unresponsive when her mother Sam pulled over on Gilbert Road at Castle Hill, in Sydney northwest, and called for an ambulance on January 6.
She immediately feared the worst because her daughter suffers from a pre-existing heart condition.
‘I was just driving in the car and she’s thrown up everywhere. And now, I think, I don’t know if she’s having a seizure or what,’ she frantically told the emergency operator.
Toddler Lily McGowan (pictured in her mum Sam’s arms) is reunited with Senior Constable Nicole Ziedan (right), who helped save her life and other police officers
What is a defibrillator?
Pictured: A defibrillator
A defibrillator is a sophisticated life-saving device used to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), a condition that occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops pumping due to an underlying medical condition.
In Australia, there are more than 30,000 SCA’s every year and without defibrillation and CPR, fewer than 5 per cent survive.
Every minute that passes without defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10 per cent.
If a defibrillator is used within the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest, it can increase the survival rate to as high as 70 per cent.
It is vital that more people become aware of what defibrillators are, how to find them and how to use them.
Source: St John Ambulance
‘She’s struggling to breathe, but she’s just very floppy,’ she continued.
The Triple-0 operator asked ‘Is there a defibrillator available?’
‘No, I’m on the side of the road, I don’t have anything with me,’ Ms McGowan replied.
Lily soon stopped breathing and after her heartbeat came to a halt, her mum started CPR on the nature strip under the guidance of the emergency operator.
Then two police officers arrived on the scene and took over the desperate battle to save the child’s life.
‘She was blue, she wasn’t breathing, not responsive. It certainly wasn’t looking good,’ Senior Constable Nicole Ziedan told Nine News.
But after almost 30 minutes of compressions, Lily began breathing again.
She was then treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics along with the critical care team from the CareFlight helicopter before being airlifted to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Lily has since made a full recovery and – along with her family – has been reunited with the officers who helped save her.
Lewis McGowan (pictured right) said his daughter Lily (left) may not be alive if it wasn’t for the help of police officers who performed CPR on the toddler after she had a heart attack
Her dad, Lewis said if the officers hadn’t acted as quickly as they did his daughter ‘probably wouldn’t be here today’.
Ms McGowan said the horror ordeal had been the ‘worst 30 minutes’ of her life.
‘It was a huge relief to see The Hills police officers arrive to help. They worked together to keep Lily alive until the paramedics arrived,’ she said.
‘We will be forever grateful for what they did for our beautiful daughter and our family.’
Lily’s story has changed policing in the Hills Shire, with 10 patrol cars now fitted with defibrillators for a 12-months trial.
Police officers from the Hills Shire in Sydney are now carrying defibrillators (pictured centre) in 10 of their vehicles
‘To be able to have access to and to be able to use life saving equipment in those first precious minutes of a medical episode, a cardiac arrest, makes the difference between life and death,’ Superintendent Darrin Batchelor said.
‘It is the reality of policing that officers will be called to unfolding emergencies – including those where medical assistance is required.
‘On this occasion, the actions of these officers may have saved Lily’s life.’
NSW Ambulance Inspector Brian Parsell welcomed the police trial.
‘Only 12 per cent of people that have a cardiac arrest in NSW walk out of hospital,’ he said.
‘More lives could be saved if bystanders ‘call-push-shock’ – call Triple-0, start chest compressions and shock with a defibrillator.’