Family looking to say thanks to local hero - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Family looking to say thanks to local hero

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) – A family is searching for a local firefighter, who they consider their hero.

February 17, 2013 started as a normal Sunday for a Carolina Forest family. It ended as a day they will never forget.

"The girls were sitting, eating popcorn. Aubrey started coughing and we thought she had just gotten too much of the seasoning," explains Amanda Mcaleer. Aubrey is her 17 month old daughter.

Soon, the family realized something was wrong.

"She wouldn't stop coughing. I picked her up and you could see her lips were starting to turn a light shade of purple," says Mcaleer.

She immediately called 911 while Aubrey started struggling even harder to breath. Her husband began the Heimlich on his daughter, but time was ticking, and Aubrey wasn't getting better.

"We tried to take her to the hospital ourselves, which is probably the worst thing you could do," she says.

Help came down the street from emergency responders with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue.

"On the ride to the hospital, she went completely unconscious and stopped breathing," recalls Mcaleer.

They knew it was getting worse, but entrusted their daughter's life in the hands of a medic. The family explains that once they got to the hospital, everything seems to blur. They don't remember much, but the name of one medic is still etched in their minds.

"Crago. His last name is burned in my brain. It's what I remember from being in the hospital. Later on, my mom suggested I try to find him on Facebook. That's where I learned his first name was Marc, but I haven't been able to contact him," explains Mcaleer.

The family explains Marc Crago, a medic with MBFR, went above and beyond for them in their time of need.

"He immediately calmed us down. He made me believe my daughter was going to be ok. It is what I needed, because at times I wasn't sure," says Mcaleer.

He was their lifeline while at the hospital.

"He stayed with us until she went into the operating room," Mcaleer explains.

The family considers Marc Crago their hero.

"It almost feels like he is part of our family, even though we hardly know him," she says.

They have been searching for him since that day.

"In his line of work he may not get a thank you very often or to see the people again that he gets to help," says Mcaleer, explaining that she wants him to be able to meet Aubrey when she is her usual happy self.

The family believes everyone involved, from emergency responders, doctors, and neighbors, helped save Aubrey's life that day. But Crago's character sticks out to them.

"We have been able to thank everyone but him, and we just want him to know we are eternally grateful for what he did for us that day," Mcaleer says.

WMBF News was able to find Marc Crago for the family. They are arranging a private reunion this week.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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