Four Marion police officers were honored at Thursday's city council meeting with a life saving award for rescuing a Cedar Rapids girl who was pinned underneath the roots of a tree during the derecho cleanup.
The family of eight year old Hattie Gansemer says a large tree stump uprooted in the storm and had fallen back into place and on top of Hattie.
Two Marion Police officers were among the first to arrive. Using a shovel, a board and the hands of several neighbors, they were able to move the tree just enough to pull Hattie out.
But she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. “Honestly, I was scared,” Marion Police Investigator Nikki Hotz tells KCRG-TV 9. “My instincts just kicked in, and I knew CPR had to be started at that point.”
After several rounds of CPR Hattie started breathing again but her dad says the prognosis wasn’t hopeful.
“They asked us how long she was without oxygen and basically said there could be a brain injury they couldn’t see on the CT scan,” Nick Gansemer tells KCRG-TV 9.
Two days after the accident, doctors removed the device measuring the pressure in Hattie’s brain to take an MRI. Doctors told the Gansemers the results were perfect.
Hattie was able to move her toes and hold her parents' hands when she woke up from her medically induced coma.
Hattie came home after 24 days. She’s still in a wheelchair as is working toward walking and one dancing again.
Investigator Hotz along with Sergeant Rich Holland, Sergeant Jason Schamberger and Officer Raquel Wilson received the Life Saving Award at the meeting.
(Photo from KCRG-TV 9)