Letter to the Editor:
Summer of 1965
Last summer I was with my granddaughter who is now in her fifth year, as we enjoyed a day at the beach. I had recalled from time-to-time an event of 1965 when I was stationed with the RCAF at Sioux Lookout from 1964 to 1966. While I believe the event occurred in the summer of 1965, to a lesser extent it could have also been 1966 but more so than 1964.
I was walking along the beach (someplace between the RCAF Base and the town of Sioux Lookout to the best of my recollection) with a colleague when I spotted the body of a young girl (gender determination based on the style of clothing or bathing suit and whose age I later approximated at six years), floating face down in the shallow water near shore. It became obvious to me quickly that she was in trouble.
When I pulled her from the water she was neither responsive nor breathing. I cleared the water from her upper airways by compressing her upper torso and began the then-accepted method of CPR and she revived just after several compressions on her back as she was then positioned on her stomach. She began to cough and expel water, then cry and was obviously scared.
Her care giver was a man approximately 35 years old and he was caring for about four young children. He stood closely nearby as the young girl was revived. He immediately took physical possession of and carried her away with a caution from me that the girl should be seen by a doctor immediately. While I hoped he would do so, but later on reflection, I suspected he may have not.
I did not contact the OPP (no cell phones in those days) and my colleague respected my request not to make a big deal of the event, as he wanted to do with the base commander. Anyone who was competent and found themselves in a similar situation would surely have done the same.
I often wondered what happened to that little girl. Many questions remain unanswered to me. Did the caregiver take her to see a doctor? Was the care-giver a parent, relative, or someone being paid to look after the group of children?
While I hope the little girl survived, I wonder if she suffered any lingering medical/mental problems. Did she grow up, have a career, get married, have children, and experience longevity?
If my grand-daughter were ever in a similar set of circumstances, I pray to God someone would step forward and do the right thing.
I am not looking for, nor expecting, anything as I relate this story to you. I am simply wishing to learn if that little girl was able to enjoy her life well into her adult years. If the little girl, who would now be a senior, is identified I would certainly like to communicate with her, or her family. She was Caucasian to the best of my recollection.
My identity was not known to the caregiver or anyone else at the event site with the exception of my colleague. If the little girl is found, I would certainly like to communicate with her, or her family, if they so wish.