A PARAMEDIC has been reunited with the toddler whose life she saved.
Former Sharples School pupil Lisa Derbyshire was thanked by the parents of Poppy Palmer.
Lisa was on duty with the Yorkshire Ambulance, where she now works, when the youngster at suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest at just 14-months-old.
Poppy's parents John Palmer and Elaine Smith said she was lifeless when Lisa — who was parked just minutes away — arrived and performed CPR.
Within minutes, Poppy started responding, but she suffered another cardiac arrest in hospital, as well as two strokes, and was given a slim chance of survival. The toddler was on life-support for almost a week before she started to show signs of improvement.
Now, almost two months later, she has defied all odds to make a remarkable recovery, and her parents invited Lisa to their home to pass on their thanks for saving their daughter’s life.
Lisa, an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, said: "When I first got the call to help Poppy she was showing no signs of life, so to go back into the same room a few weeks later and see her crawling and playing like any other toddler was amazing, it made me feel really teary.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and was able to give Poppy the help she needed when she needed it. I just did what I was trained to do and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I was literally two minutes away from their home, some things are just meant to be."
Lisa, who also attended High Lawn Primary School, started working for the local ambulance service, before a relationship took her to York a few years ago.
Ms Smith said: "Essentially, we have won the lottery a million times over and it’s impossible to convey our gratitude.
"Poppy was minutes from death, the situation was that grave, and if it hadn’t been for Lisa’s efforts that night she wouldn’t have made it to hospital for the medical care to continue – she is incredible and we can’t thank her enough."
Doctors found Poppy, a previously healthy toddler who was suffering with the tail-end of a cold, had contracted a virus which had inflamed her heart muscle. She was put on a ventilator and an ECMO machine which took over the work of her heart, allowing her heart to rest and recover.
Lisa's proud dad, John Derbyshire, who lives in Sharples, said: "I am massively proud of Lisa and all my three children.
"My wife died at the age of 36, and they are a reflection of her.
"Lisa worked for the ambulance service here before going to York, and she is known by so many people in the local health service. She will go on and on in the ambulance service.
"After helping the little girl, Lisa was in the swimming baths with her two-year-old son Harry. He was climbing everywhere and she said to him to leave a little girl alone — it was Poppy, who was there with her grandmother!"