Father of girl who died after swimming pool accident thanks community officials

Published: Sep. 19, 2016 at 4:30 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2016 at 4:31 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The father of a 4-year-old girl who died after falling into a swimming pool in Rowan County last month wants to thank community officials.

Natalie Lippard fell into her grandparent's swimming pool during a family gathering August 23 and was rushed to the hospital. She died a couple days later.

Natalie's father, Stephen Lippard, wants to say "thank you" to community officials who tried to save his daughter the day she nearly drowned. He also is appreciative of the continued support the officials offered, calling their services a :true act of compassion."

"August 23rd at 6:38pm, I made the call no parent ever wants to make…911 for my 4 yr old Natalie.  5 minutes and 14 seconds later, Dale, a first responder, was there.  Moments later, a small army of Rowan County EMTs and responders arrived.  The longest hour passed, and her heart was beating, Natalie had a chance.  But they're services continued to go beyond just another emergency call and became a true act of compassion.  A week later, 3 members of the West Rowan Fire Dept made the 2-hour drive to attend Nat's visitation, and 3 different members attended her funeral services the next day.  As if that was not enough, members of the WRFD stopped by my parents' house on Sept 16th to offer continued condolences and support to my family more than 3 weeks removed from Natalie's accident.  I wanted to make sure that people in Rowan County realize just how good we have it.  Led by Chief Johnny Morrison, this group of men and women have done so much more than simply respond to a call.  They first gave us hope where there was none, and then try to help us deal with tragedy with their continued prayers and support.  Simply amazing." --Stephen Lippard

Fire and Rowan EMS were called around 6:40 to the home of Natalie's grandparents in the 8000 block of Sherrills Ford Road, about 8-10 miles west of Salisbury.

Family friends said Natalie fell into the swimming pool during a family gathering.  When family members discovered Natalie in the pool they took her out and immediately began CPR. They continued CPR until Rowan County deputies and EMS arrived.

Additional crews responded and attempted to treat the 4-year-old before she was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. A helicopter was waiting there and took the child to a trauma center at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, and then Brenner Children's Hospital, where she passed away a couple days later.

RELATED: 4-year-old girl in near drowning passes away at hospital

PREVIOUS: Funeral services set for Natalie Lippard

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