MEMBERS OF the Dublin Fire Brigade welcomed a very special visitor to the station yesterday.
Young Dubliner Carly was just seven years old when she suffered a heart attack in public last Christmas, and was saved thanks to the heroic actions of passersby and the Fire Brigade.
The little girl was shopping in Clondalkin's Mill Centre shopping centre when she fell dangerously ill, going into cardiac arrest-- but the Mill Centre's security staff and an off-duty lifeguard were able to perform CPR.
Miraculously, a public access defibrillator was also found nearby, and the lifeguard delivered multiple shocks to keep her heart going before the emergency services could arrive at the scene.
Members of the Dublin Fire Brigade who were specially trained advanced paramedics rushed from Tallaght fire station to the Mill Centre and managed to stabilise Carly with advanced life support.
The little girl was then taken to hospital, where she thankfully made a full recovery and was able to celebrate Christmas with her family.
Of course, soon after, the coronavirus crisis hit Irish shores, and while Carly was supposed to make her first Holy Communion in early summer, the big day was pushed back by several months.
Yesterday, the long wait was finally over, and Carly celebrated the day with her classmates-- but not before first stopping in to say thanks to the firefighters and paramedics who helped save her life.
Taking to Twitter, the DFB shared the inspiring story alongside pictures of a delighted Carly in her Communion dress, writing:
"Carly, who suffered a cardiac arrest aged 7 at Christmas dropped in on her communion to meet the crew that treated her on the day."
"Bystander CPR really does work and can save a life."
Hundreds of people who were touched by the story sent their best wishes to Carly, with one writing:
"If ever there was abeautiful picture to highlight the importance of learning CPR & how to use a defibrillator as part of a 1st Aid Course, this is that picture.
"Well done everyone. You look lovely Carly. I hope you had a really wonderful day."
"This is beautiful," one woman wrote. "Well done to all involved in saving this little one's life.
"I'd say you were all delighted to see her on her special day!"
The Dublin Fire Brigade have said they are hoping to meet Carly again for a proper celebration once coronavirus restrictions have eased further.
Until then-- congratulations, Carly!