Little Zara's lifesaver

LITTLE Zara Garnham's parents today praised a quick-thinking 999 call-taker who saved her life after she toppled into her grandmother's garden pond and nearly died.

LITTLE Zara Garnham's parents today praised a quick-thinking 999 call-taker who saved her life after she toppled into her grandmother's garden pond and nearly died.

The call handler talked Zara's grandmother, Brenda Garnham, through life-saving techniques and the 19-month-old is now back at home in Ipswich, unharmed from her ordeal.

Her parents, Michael and Lorraine Garnham, were quick to express their thanks to Zara's grandmother and the call taker for their heroic efforts.

The drama unfolded shortly after 11.30am on Wednesday while Zara and her three-year-old sister Sophie were being looked after at their grandparents' house in Bramford Lane.


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While the children were watching television their grandmother left the room but when she returned after only a minute Zara was out of sight.

After frantically search of the bungalow she decided to look outside, despite the back door being locked and found the toddler, who had turned grey with the cold, floating face-up in the pond.

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She quickly pulled her out of the icy water and dialled 999 to speak to an operator who talked her through what to do.

Mr Garnham, 28, of Marlow Road, Ipswich, said: “I think my mother-in-law popped to the toilet and when she came back Zara had disappeared.

“When she looked down the garden path Zara was in the pond. Fortunately she was lying face-up but she was grey because it was so cold - I think her body temperature was 32C when it should be 37C.

“My mother-in-law pulled her from the water, phoned 999 and the operator talked her through it and told her to tilt Zara's head back, which was when she coughed up some water and started breathing again.”

Mr Garnham said his daughter was then taken to Ipswich Hospital where she was kept overnight for observation but was allowed to return home the next day.

He said: “The only thing we can think of is that she crawled through the dog flap in the back door.

“If my mother-in-law hadn't been on the scene so quickly or didn't think to go outside then Zara might not be here now.

“Fortunately Zara hasn't been affected at all. We'll never know who the operator was, but their advice saved Zara's life.”

Mrs Garnham, 26, who works as a dental nurse, added: “We were just so lucky. It's every parent's worst nightmare.”

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