Ottawa grandmother pulls over before tragically collapsing, potentially saving toddler’s life

Mavis Aird is being praised for potentially saving her grandchild's life by pulling over during a medical emergency she did not survive on Nov. 2, 2019. (Image: provided by family)

Ottawa police are confirming an unexpected discovery when responding to an urgent call for a woman who collapsed to her death while frantically seeking help.

In an exclusive conversation with CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes, the daughters of Mavis Aird say it was their mother who collapsed and that “unexpected discovery” was her grandchild asleep and unaware in the back seat of the SUV.

The unfortunate series of events happened in the east end on Saturday, November 2nd.

Relatives say 68-year-old Aird must have known she was having a medical emergency, pulled over, and knocked on a stranger’s door before becoming unconscious.

“When officers arrived, Constables Gurprit Dhaliwal, Cristian Malurica and Shawn Jones tried to resuscitate the woman; but sadly, she passed way from an apparent heart attack in hospital,” said police.

Through a written account of what took place, police also said one officer went to the hospital and two others continued to investigate how Aird got there. Following a search of the area, they discovered the SUV parked crooked in a nearby driveway. The registration of the vehicle confirmed it belonged to the woman who had just been transported to hospital.

“They looked inside to find a toddler sound asleep and safely secured in a car seat, none the wiser that anything had happened,” reads the police statement.

“Officers woke the child and brought them to a warm police cruiser. The toddler was cared for and entertained by cartoons on one of the officer’s cell phones until a family member arrived to take over.”

Officers’ good sense leads to an unexpected discoveryhttps://t.co/qasQQFYPjM#ottnews

Le bon sens des agents mène à une découverte inattenduehttps://t.co/XrsOLfz45J#OttNouvelles pic.twitter.com/DgftJrDJQD

— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) November 8, 2019

This is how her daughter Sharon Aird describes what happened:

"She was driving with her 2.5 year old grand-daughter, Maliah Aird at about 8:30pm. On her way to pick up Mahlia's sister, Tahlia from a birthday party. Mavis had felt some sort of pain; enough for her to safely pull over and park her car in a nearby laneway of a stranger's home on Smithers Crescent in Orleans. After walking to the front door of that home, no one was home and she gathered enough strength to make it to a home with lights across the street. She rang the doorbell continuously until someone answered at which time she said "I cannot breathe" and then she collapsed on the front step. Paramedics were called and they did CPR on her for 8 minutes straight trying with all his might to revive her with no avail....My mom was courageous and strong until her last breath."

As news spreads of Aird’s passing, Facebook pages are starting to flood with condolences and fond memories of her days as a hairstylist.

“Mavis was my stylist for many of my teenage years. Always so kind and supportive  when I was going through being a single Mom,” writes Andrea Kelly-Rampula.

Daughter, Sharon Aird, confirms her mother was a staple in the community. Aird had owned and operated a salon for 25 years on the ground level of The Kavanaugh Towers on Wellington Street West. Sharon says her mother had just reopened at the exact same spot five months ago.

Funeral arrangements have been made for 11 a.m. Friday, November 15 at St. Helen’s Anglican Church. Visitations will take place the day before at the Kelly Funeral Home on St. Joseph Boulevard in Orleans.

Police say “we wish to extend our condolences to the family and let them know that they should be very proud of their loved one for ensuring her grandchild was safe and secure in what she likely knew was a dire situation.”

With a report from CTV's Christina Succi

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