ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - An Escondido teen’s search for the ‘angel’ who helped save her life came to an end Tuesday afternoon as she was reunited with the good Samaritan.
At the front door of Janice Callant’s Escondido home, an ABC 10News camera filmed an emotional hug, six months in the making.
The last time, Callant met Lily Irigoyen, Lily was lying in the street in front of Westfield North County mall.
The 13-year-old was crossing the street when she was struck by a car. The collision knocked her unconscious, and she wasn't breathing. At that moment, Callant, who had recently had back and knee replacement surgery, was driving by.
“Threw my door open. I left my walker and cane in the car. I don’t even know how I got to Lily … a lot of adrenaline, ” she said.
Callant was CPR trained but didn’t have any real-life experience, so she yelled for anyone else who was trained. No one responded, but one man did shout for her to lift the girl’s neck. She motioned for the man to assist, and he held Lily’s head in his lap. Callant cleared asphalt and glass from her face, then tilted back her head back to open up an airway.
“I lifted your neck,” she told Lily after meeting her. “And then you were breathing. It was like Christ just walked into the room or into the area.”
Later, Callant used Lily's phone to reach her family. Lily was air-lifted to a hospital, where she remained in a coma for three weeks. She suffered a host of injuries, head trauma and a broken leg.
Doctors said the actions of the Good Samaritans kept oxygen flowing to her brain, saving her life.
“They saved me. They’re the reason I'm here right now,” said Lily in an ABC 10News interview last week, as she made an appeal to find her good Samaritans, months after a three-month hospital stay.
A tip from a viewer connected us with Callant, leading to the reunion.
“She is my angel. It’s amazing what you did,” Lily told Callant,
“I did what everyone should,” responded Callant.
“But everyone doesn’t do it, and you did it,” Lily said.
Both families say they plan to stay in each other's lives.
As for the crash, the driver who struck Lily was determined to be at fault, but she was not criminally charged.