Watch the Dramatic Rescue of an Utah Toddler Trapped in a Car for 14 Hours
"She absolutely is a fighter, seeing the scene and how long she was in that car," the emergency room doctor said
Lily Groesbeck is lucky to be alive.
Police released footage of the dramatic rescue of the 18-month-old toddler who was found on March 7 in a car flipped upside down in a river in Spanish Fork, Utah. She miraculously survived after spending 14 hours trapped inside the vehicle.
The video shows three responding police officers, two firefighters and a fisherman, who was first to call 911, jumping into action to flip the car over. When they did, they found Lily’s mom, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, who was fatally injured.
One firefighter lifts Lily from the car and hands her to a police officer, who runs to the waiting ambulance while holding the toddler close to his chest for warmth.
“Come on baby,” a police officer is heard saying in the video. “She’s definitely hypothermic, she’s freezing.”
On the way to the emergency room, the responders couldn’t feel a pulse so an EMT performed CPR and patted her on the back, hoping she would start to breath.
As soon as the ambulance pulled up to Mountain View Hospital in Payson, Utah, Lily showed signs of life as she started to vomit. Doctors and nurses helped stabilize her and she was later flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
“My initial instinct was that she was dead. When we were able to cut her out, pass her out, the first thing I saw was her eyes fluttering. So it was kind of a positive sign of life for me, at least. But knew she wasn’t out of harm’s way, either,” Officer Bryan Dewitt told KSL.
Four days later, Lily was laughing and playing with her father, Deven Trafny, 34, who was out of town in Montana at the time of the accident and arrived at the hospital March 8, KUTV reported.
“I came in, I put my finger in her hand, and I told her, ‘Dad is here’ and I loved her,” Trafny told news station. “She squeezed my hand and then a few hours later she tried to open her eyes. I haven’t left her bedside since.”
He was engaged to Groesbeck, whose funeral took place on March 14.
“That’s kind of a hard situation for me right now. I haven’t really wrapped my head around that. She was the love of my life and I’m going to miss her a lot. I still have to deal with that,” Trafny said.
He says Lily is back to her normal self and singing all of her favorite nursery rhymes with him. She was released from the hospital Wednesday and will be staying with Grosebeck’s family for the time being.
“She is doing remarkably well considering the circumstance,” Jill Sanderson, Groesbeck’s sister, told KSL. “The doctors have been hopeful so far.”
Groesbeck’s friend, Ali Sumsion, set up a GoFundMe account last Sunday to cover medical costs and has already raised over $75,000.
“She absolutely is a fighter, seeing the scene and how long she was in that car,” Brock Royall, the emergency room doctor, told KSL. “It’s hard to believe she was able to do so well.”