A Limerick toddler is alive thanks to the quick thinking of two Garda detectives who kept her breathing during a medical emergency in Limerick city centre, writes Jimmy Woulfe.
Detectives Denise Moriarty and Barry Moylan were on routine patrol when they saw Sylwia Pietrasik and David Moya on the junction of Gerard Street and O’Connell Avenue as Lorena went into convulsions.
They quickly realised that the child aged 20 months was in serious medical distress and intervened immediately.
Det Garda Moriarty, a native of Kilcummin, Killarney, Co Kerry, said: “That’s when it just kicked in. I didn’t think much really, we just did what was needed.
“Shortly after 8.20pm we were coming from Wolfe Tone Street when we saw Lorena’s parents on the roadside. Lorena’s mother was clearly distressed at her child’s condition,” he said.
After identifying themselves as gardaí, the two detectives took Lorena into their patrol car, along with her parents, and opened her airway.
Finding a weak pulse, they kept the airway open as they drove to University Hospital Limerick while maintaining contact with the control room at Henry Street Garda Station. This ensured that Lorena could be handed over to a waiting paediatric team for further intervention and care.
The two detectives said that they were “both relieved and thrilled” to hear that Lorena had recovered later that night.
Det Garda Moriarty said: “We called out, just out of courtesy, to the hospital the next day and there was Lorena sitting up in the bed of the Children’s Ark playing with her toys and happy out. She was a different child. Her mom was so thankful to us but we were just happy to see all was well.”
Sylwia told the detectives afterwards that she is in debt to them for their fast action which saved Lorena’s life.
One week later, Lorena was bustling around the quayside in Limerick with her parents, full of the joys of life and oblivious to being at the centre of attention.
Chief Superintendent Davie Sheahan said “Det Gda Moriarty and Moylan must be praised for their interventions here and for stepping up the mark in their community. This child is alive today because of that. I am very proud of them.”
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.