Nerolie Curran does not use the word hero to describe the woman who saved her daughter’s life. It’s not enough. Sometimes there are no words.
But there is a bond, and it’s just as strong now as it was a year ago, when general practice nurse Suze Natusch swam 40m, climbed on to a boat and saved 5-year-old Jasmine Curran’s life.
“[The word] hero is an understatement,” Mrs Curran said this week, about the day her middle daughter’s heart stopped during a Bay of Islands boating trip. She had an undiagnosed heart rhythm disorder.
The words come easier now, as an inquisitive little girl sits between the two people who gave her life and the third who saved it.
“I remember looking into Suze’s eyes [after the rescue] and I just had nothing to say. She said ‘you don’t have to say anything, I’m a mother’.
When Jasmine’s heart stopped, it was awful realising they did not have the skills to help, said dad Simon Curran.
“To hear someone say they are trained in CPR, it was like a guardian angel had arrived … our family knows Suze as ‘the doctor in the bikini’ from that day.”
Mrs Natusch swam to their aid expecting to see someone with a cut. “I found Jasmine, not looking very well at all. I just started CPR. There was no talking.”
There was thinking. On the mum of two’s mind was her 10-year-old daughter, who had lifesaving heart surgery aged 3 months. That surgeon later fitted Jasmine with a personal defibrillator.
“I was thinking about my Evie.”