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Family wants to find people who helped save daughter 21 years ago

Emma Taylor, 11 days old, is pictured at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after experiencing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The family is now trying to track down the people who helped to save Taylor's life.
Emma Taylor, 11 days old, is pictured at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after experiencing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The family is now trying to track down the people who helped to save Taylor's life. - Contributed

WESTVILLE, N.S. - Mary Taylor will never forget the terror that came over her 21 years ago when she realized her daughter wasn’t breathing.

Taylor was driving to their home in Freetown from Charlottetown, with her 11-day-old girl and her sister-in-law, Wendy, when she realized something was terribly wrong.

Taylor remembers exactly where it happened and when. They were on Route 2 just outside Springvale on July 27, 1997.

“It was absolute terror,’’ Mary said. “I was in the backseat with her, so I noticed that she just wasn’t behaving normally. I wiped her face with a cloth and she didn’t move. It was a hot day and I was trying to cool her down.

“Then, I started doing the flicking and pinching (thing) and trying to get her to move and that’s when I noticed her lips were a little blue. That’s when I started yelling at my sister-in-law to pull over. It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying. It was definitely a life-changing moment.’’

Wendy started performing artificial respiration on Emma while Mary attempted to flag down motorists on the highway. Quickly, two vehicles pulled over.

Mary believes one woman was a nurse but knows she definitely had medical training.

“She knew what she was doing. She started doing some artificial respiration on her as well, checking her pulse and did some other first aid.’’

In the other vehicle that stopped was an older couple from Kensington who offered to drive them to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital “because now we had a little group of people and we only had a car’’.

The nurse continued to check on Emma’s vitals, telling Mary that she was getting a really low pulse to comfort the anxious mother.

“It wasn’t until we got to the hospital . . . and laid her on a gurney that Emma started to cry. At that moment, I was able to breathe again.’’

Now, Emma and her parents, Mary and Shawn, who live in Westville, N.S., want to find the people who stopped to help that day.

“It was such an overwhelming time that I never got anyone’s names other than very minor details about who they were,’’ said Mary.

Emma Taylor
Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor told The Guardian that she’s always had the incident in the back of her mind.

“I want to meet these people,’’ Emma said. “Not only did they save my life, but they also saved my parents. I know that if I had died that day it would have completely ruined them and I’m not sure my younger sister, Grace, would exist because of the loss that they would have gone through.’’

After many tests and consultations with specialists, it was determined the most likely cause of Emma’s unresponsiveness was that she had suffered a SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) event that was somehow caught and reversed by everyone involved.

“I am grateful and truly thankful to everyone involved that day,’’ said Emma.

The family is now reaching out through social media and the media to try to find the people who helped out that fateful day to thank them.

They thought about doing it a year ago on the 20th anniversary, but time got away from them.

“We thought about it from their point of view,’’ Mary said. “If we were ever involved in something like that we would like to know what the rest of the story was. We’d like them to know that she’s good and wonderful and grew up to be a wonderful young lady.’’

Emma is in her last year in the bachelor of science program at UPEI and will move to Dalhousie next year to take her masters. Her goal is to go into occupational therapy.

Anyone who has any information as to the identity of the people who helped out that day is asked to email the family at abbi1996@gmail.com or call 902-396-1499 or reach out to Shawn on Facebook.

dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/DveStewart 

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