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Friday, March 09, 2007

(*) My Nan was a hero

My Nan (my dads' mum) has been gone for about ten years now, but she was a hero. Not just in my mind - a real-life hero. She saved someone's life.

Nan used to babysit three kids for a well-to-do family that lived in one of the more exclusive parts on the northern side of Sydney in the 1970's. I remember visiting two of that familys' houses - virtual palaces to my young eyes. I would have been about 11-12-13 at the time. Waterfront, own private wharf, motor launch, swimming pools, a gardener... I'm sure these people had worked hard for what they'd got, but this was kinda almost *obscene* whay they had, to my lower-middle-class way of thought!

Anyways, Nan was a good friend of the family, and as she got older she had the time to be able to babysit and be like a part-time "Nanny" for this family of three kids, a girl and two boys. I don't remember the parents at all, altho I'm sure I would have met them at one point. Nan would pick me up somedays and we'd hang out at this place while she was looking after the kids sometimes. Must have been during the school holidays, I guess.

Anyways... she was a hero because - she saved the life of one of those kids. It was just one normal day with just Nan and the three kids. It was one of those split-second things... apparently the youngest daughter, aged about 3-ish, snuck out and somehow got into the enclosed swimming pool area. Nan noticed that she was 'missing,' and yes, a quick search found Nan gazing down beside the pool... the girl was laying face-down in the bottom of the pool!!!

Now, Nan was no small, petite lady, given to graceful feats of physicality. But she lept in, grabbed the girl and dragged her to the surface and the side if the pool in almost one swift motion. Using a clear head (that years of Scout training had instilled in her... (Nan was my "Akala" as a cub-scout as well! heh heh), he gave the girl mouth-to-mouth - she wasn't breathing. Sure enough, the kid coughed up some water, started breathing - and started to cry!

Apparently Nan burst into tears she was so relieved! That was the best sound she could have hoped to hear - the child crying... she was breathing! And yes, the child was fine fine fine, but the paramedics who arrived soon after said that if she'd been laying on the bottom of the pool for only a few more seconds...

Nan didn't think when it happened - she didn't have time to, she just did what her instincts told her to. It was only afterwards that she became very upset and emotional. At the time, I remember her telling me, it was all very clear, precise, almost in slow motion when it happened. She knew what she had to do, so she just did it! It didn't matter than Nan hadn't been in a pool herself for like ten years or something! Whoo hoo for my Nan!

Yeah, my Nan was a hero.

I love her still anyways. But it's not everyday you remember how heroic your Nan was in a moment of crisis. Yay for 'random thoughts' at 3 in the morning! heh heh

(Nan in c.1985)

Mallard d'Quackers

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On March 11, 2007 2:41 PM, Blogger jac said...

Wow! That's pretty impressive! My nana was a Scout leader too, of my Dad's troop, but I don't think she saved anyone's life :)


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