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Emotional moment 2yo reunited with cop who saved her life

1 month ago 17

Destiny Shrief, 2, was barely clinging to life after falling into her grandparents’ backyard pool at Casula, in southwest Sydney, with her toddler cousin on July 18.

In every parent’s worst nightmare, the children were pulled from the water and desperately worked on by Destiny’s mother and three police officers before being put into comas when they arrived at hospital, their futures uncertain.

Against all odds, the little girl has now made a full recovery, believed to be the result of her mother’s knowledge of CPR and the quick arrival of NSW Police officers.

Last week, Destiny was reunited with the officer who saved her life, Senior Constable Peter Heginbotham, emotional footage showing the young girl running into the man’s arms.

“It’s amazing, absolutely amazing,” Sen-Constable Heginbotham said.

“Knowing how bad the situation was, we didn’t expect such a good outcome … but to have both of them come out of it with no apparent lasting effects … makes everything else fall into the background.”

The Sen-Constable said officers were flying blind as they sped over to the house on Lakewood Crescent, not knowing how long the children had been underwater for.

“Every second counts in a situation like this,” he said. “Our response time meant everything, and it seemed to work.”

The officers performed CPR for eight minutes until the arrival of paramedics, who rushed both children to hospital in a critical condition.

Incredibly, both have now made a full recovery.

Footage taken at the heartwarming reunion shows Destiny smiling and laughing as she plays with Sen-Constable Heginbotham, able to run into his arms and clamber onto playground equipment without a second thought.

Destiny’s mother Badriah Al-Achrafewe, who is a registered nurse and was able to start CPR before police arrived, said the officers acted in a way she had only seen in movies.

“We were numb, we were panicking, it was very traumatising,” she said.

“It felt like they (the officers) were going through the same thing, they came to the same level,” she said.

“When we went to the hospital they didn’t leave our side.

“Only in movies do you see things like that.”

Ms Al-Achrafewe, 30, said the police continued to check in with them, calling the hospital regularly to see how her daughter and nephew were doing.

Destiny’s father Herman Shrief, 34, said thank you “isn’t enough for what we got from NSW Police and NSW Ambulance”.

“It was two weeks of hell … we couldn’t hold onto anything, anyone, but they gave us hope,” he said.

“They’re guardian angels … as a father, I can’t be more thankful to the persons involved in protecting my child.”

Both parents want to see more awareness around the importance of learning CPR, both aware had it not been started before police arrived, the children would not have survived.

“Destiny making a full recovery was the result of a number of important factors, and one crucial element was that we were able to give effective CPR until the arrival of police,” Mr Shrief said.

“We were obviously distraught and extremely relieved to see the police arrive and take control, but if people take anything away from this, I’d really like to stress the importance of first aid training in the home.

“It can help mean the difference between life and death.”

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