A two-year-old girl is in hospital fighting for her life after being found unconscious in a park fountain.
Grace Lear disappeared from her mother Hannah at Fishpond Park in Pontypool on Tuesday (12 July) afternoon. Hannah had gone to the park with her children and their friends on the way back from school.
About an hour later, they were joined by Grace’s father Sam.
Hannah said she, Sam and their friends were on the grass beside the play area and were distracted for “a few split seconds”. They then came to the terrifying realisation that Grace had disappeared.
‘She was completely lifeless and not breathing’
“She hadn’t even been missing for one minute before we looked up to find her gone,” Hannah explained.
“Our group ran in every direction of the park, calling her name and asking anyone that we passed. I was just going back to the lawn we had been on when I heard a gentleman shout to call an ambulance.
“He then pulled Grace out of the fountain. She was completely lifeless and not breathing. He gently laid her down where two or three gentlemen from the bowling club began CPR on her.
“Within ten minutes, they just about managed to get her back.”
Shortly afterwards, an ambulance, police and two helicopters arrived.
Grace was transferred to University Hospital Wales in Cardiff but due to the severity of her condition, was transferred to Leicester on Wednesday. It was there she received a heart and lung bypass.
‘We owe them our lives’
“Grace is incredibly poorly,” Hannah said.
“She’s the sickest child here at the moment so I think that tells you the severity. But she is stable now and that’s all that matters. She is responding to every bit of help she is given.”
To the four men who gave Grace emergency CPR, Hannah said: “Sam and I both want to say that words alone will never be enough to say how thankful we are.
“If it wasn’t for their efforts she wouldn’t be alive and fighting so there will never be enough thank yous. We owe them our lives and we’re really looking forward to eventually meeting them all with Grace.”
First Ukrainian baby believed to have been born in Wales since war began
Teen thought to have growing pains diagnosed with ‘horrific’ illness
A fundraising page has been set up for Hannah and her family and has already raised more than one thousand pounds.
Hannah said she “can’t thank everyone enough” for their support, adding that their “kindness and generosity has been nothing but outstanding”.
“We’re in the worst case scenario and we’ve had the backing of everyone at home,” Hannah said.
“People who are complete strangers to us all as a family have shown just how wonderful they are. Sam and I are so grateful for everything – all the well wishes, every little comment, donation, nothing has gone unnoticed.
“It’s also incredibly comforting. When I haven’t been able to fall asleep in the night I’ve been lying in bed reading through the comments. It’s just so lovely at this horrible time.”