A Hero Among Us

Posted: Aug 08, 2011

Gillian was enjoying a pool party with her mom at a family friend’s house—playing catch, swimming and chatting with friends.  While playing, Gillian kept a watchful eye on two-year-old Abby, who was sitting in a floating safety ring at the other end of the pool. 

Although the adults had been watching Abby closely for some time, their backs were turned at a critical moment. 
“Abby reached over to touch the water, and when she did, the floating ring flipped,” Gillian said. “Abby was under water and still stuck in the ring.”

Gillian quickly jumped into action.
“I called for Abby’s mom, and she didn’t hear me,” she said. “So I swam over to Abby and pulled her out of the water. I started patting her back.”

Within a few moments, Abby began to cough.  Relieved, Gillian returned Abby to her mother. When asked how she felt during the incident, Gillian said she was scared. “I was scared when it was happening,” she said. “But felt good after.”

She recalls—with a huge smile on her face—that Abby wouldn’t leave her side for the remainder of the pool party. The importance of Gillian’s actions is undeniable.  If she hadn’t been watching, and if she hadn’t responded so quickly, with such skill, it may have been too late for Abby.  

Although Abby didn’t need CPR, Gillian would have been prepared. She had recently earned her Water Safety badge in the Girl Scouts and attributes her quick reaction to the skills she learned. During a lesson held in a co-leader’s backyard pool, a certified lifeguard taught the girls of Troop 1576 about what to do during an emergency.

“I learned how to save lives and what to do if someone drowns,” Gillian said. 
This lesson, coupled with Gillian’s natural confidence enabled her to respond so quickly, and to save Abby’s life.

When asked how she feels about what her daughter did, Gillian’s mom and Troop leader, Brandy Perdue, beamed, “I am proud, very proud.”

Gillian received a Drowning Prevention Award from the Fire Department, and was presented with the Girl Scouts “Medal of Honor” during her bridging ceremony yesterday in honor of her heroic, life saving effort. 

Gillian enjoys drawing, singing along to her favorite artist (Rihanna) and is a whiz at math.  She likes being a Junior Girl Scout because, as she puts it: “you learn more about life, first aid, and you are able to do charity.” 

From all of us here at GSACPC, we are truly privileged to have a hero among us! Great job, Gillian!