Heartfelt Reunion

Emotions were running high when little Lily McGowan and her parents, Sam and Lewis, were reunited with police officers and paramedics who saved the two-year-old’s life earlier this year. charity Heart of Nation

Sam was driving along Gilbert Road at Castle Hill when she saw Lily having what appeared to be a seizure in her car seat. Pulling over to the side of the road, she found her daughter had stopped breathing. She called Triple Zero (000) and under the guidance of the operator, she commenced CPR on the nature strip.

The emergency call came around 1.50pm on January 6th, fortunately there was a police car nearby and officers from The Hills Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, including former nurse Constable Nicole Ziedan, took over CPR.

After performing CPR for some 30 minutes, officers then felt Lily breathing. She was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics along, with the critical care team from the CareFlight helicopter, before being taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

The McGowans were recently able to personally thank police and emergency services for saving their little girl’s life.

“It was the worst 30 minutes of my life, it was a huge relief to see The Hills police officers arrive to help,” Sam said. “They worked together to keep Lily alive until the paramedics arrived. We will be forever grateful for what they did for our beautiful daughter and our family.”

The incident highlighted the need for police cars to carry Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), which are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

From this month, all Hills police vehicles now carry AEDs as part of a 12-month trial that may eventually see them put into all first response police cars such as general duties and highway patrol cars in NSW.

The trial is great news for former Yellow Wiggle Greg Page who established the charity ‘Heart of the Nation’ to encourage more businesses and organisations to stock AEDs and have signage showing where they are. Greg collapsed during a concert at Castle Hill RSL in January 2020 and credits his life being saved to bystanders who performed CPR and were also able to use a nearby AED.

“Our police are often first on scene, and when they are responding to an incident that involves cardiac arrest, it makes sense for them to be equipped with not only the skills required (CPR) but also the tools (an AED) to get a heart beating again,” Greg said.

‘Heart of the Nation’ donated three AEDs to Hills Police, Castle Hill RSL Group provided seven, and the Michael Hughes Foundation one.

Superintendent Darrin Batchelor, Hills Police Commander, said: “Police frequently find themselves having to perform CPR on members of the public. Having AEDs on the road 24 hours a day is exciting, potentially lifesaving, and will enable officers to provide an additional level of first aid intervention to members of the public who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.”

charity Heart of Nation