“We can never thank them enough”: Hertfordshire family full of praise for life savers

Date: 06 December 2016

Lily Hicks and her parents with EEAST staff

It’s nothing short of a nightmare, being told by doctors that your six-month-old daughter has a 20% chance of survival, and an even smaller chance of a full recovery. But, for Rickie and Carly Hicks, it was a stark reality they faced in January.

Rickie and Carly Hicks were at the cinema with their daughter on 10th January when she fell ill. Rickie, 31, said: “We noticed that Lily had a high temperature and her breathing wasn’t quite right.”

She was taken to hospital for a check over, but after heading home her condition plummeted, spots began appearing on her back and turned purple and she was completely unresponsive.

They dialled 999 and help arrived in the form of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Stephen Cutler who recognised the seriousness of Lily’s condition instantly. He said: “I saw Lily in her mother’s arms, lifeless, with glazed eyes and a really bad purple rash on her body. I immediately grabbed a glass to push onto the rash which confirmed to me that she had meningitis.”

Back up was requested immediately and received from Paramedic Jonathan Brownett and EMT John Caballero. Jonathan said: “It was clear that Lily was extremely unwell, the rash was a typical symptom of meningococcal septicaemia; quite frankly she was the sickest child that I’d ever seen.”

She was given the life-saving drug benzyl penicillin before being taking her to Barnet General Hospital and then on to Great Ormond Street where she miraculously made a full recovery.

Last week (Thursday, 1st December) Lily and her parents were reunited with the crews under much happier circumstances. Rickie and Carly had nothing but praise for what the crews did on that day: “Without a doubt they’ve made a difference to our lives; to say that day was scary was an understatement, it was the worst thing I’ve experienced. If it wasn’t for them, our lives would be completely different.”

John, who now works for the Scottish Ambulance Service, flew down just for the reunion and said: “There was no way I wasn’t coming to see her again, seeing her walking, smiling, and just being a normal toddler was amazing. The family can’t thank us enough but we can’t thank the job and training we’ve had to be able to make that difference.”

Carly and Rickie have raised more than £12,000 for charity and will be taking part in a charity sky dive called Jump for Lily’s Journey. For more information visit: https://fundrazr.com/61AF3a

To watch a short video of the reunion visit: https://youtu.be/H7PED0Idueo

  • Summary:

    It’s nothing short of a nightmare, being told by doctors that your six-month-old daughter has a 20% chance of survival, and an even smaller chance of a full recovery.