SAN DIEGO – It was a call that all rescuers dread.
Five weeks ago, officials with the Pacific Beach Fire Department received a call reporting that a young girl had smashed through a plate glass sliding door, severing her stomach in the process.
“It was plate glass and she went right through it. It just became a guillotine type thing, and it just filleted her entire abdomen,” said Capt. Rich Marcello from the San Diego Fire Department.
Firefighters used trauma dressings and scooped up 5-year-old Oliviana, rushing her to the hospital. Officials said they knew along the way up until the moment she went into surgery that she could die from her injuries. Despite the severity of the incident, rescuers say they were baffled by Oliviana’s bravery and calm demeanor.
Now, just five weeks later, the five-year-old has recovered and reunited with the men and women who helped to save her.
“I was just more shocked at her staying conscious the entire time and not shedding a tear, as tough as she is,” said paramedic Craig Torline.
On Tuesday, Oliviana was given a firefighting Barbie doll and taken on a fire truck ride through Pacific Beach, all to mark her
“Seeing her back here today running around…This is what we do it for, this makes it all worth it,” said Andrew McClanahan, a paramedic from Faulk Ambulance service.
Now, rescuers are warning the public about the dangers of older plate glass window sliding doors. The San Diego Fire Department recommends people upgrade to a newer style break-away glass door.
“Thank you for saving my life,” said Oliviana.