It was all hugs and smiles as Laura Creek and her six-month-old daughter Ivy met PCs Barbara Williams and George McCready at Cambridgeshire police HQ in Huntingdon. But it was a joyful reunion that very nearly never happened.
The last time 34-year-old Laura had contact with the officers, on 3 June 2021, she had taken an overdose in her car at the end of a rural single-track road in the Waterbeach area.
Officers were dispatched to Laura’s home in Waterbeach but found she had left in her car and there was a trail of blood in the bathroom sink.
She had also left a note titled “My last day”.
Barbara and George were tasked with looking for Laura and raced to the local area.
They searched bridges, train tracks and remote roads and received vital help from Laura’s close friend, and member of police staff, Hannah Gray. Hannah called police distraught after Laura confided in her about how she was feeling.
She had spoken to Laura over the phone and heard her car going along what sounded like a bumpy road.
Armed with this information from Hannah and their knowledge of the area, Barbara and George were able to find Laura in the rural location.
As they rushed to the vehicle, they discovered her unresponsive and struggling for breath in the driver’s seat.
They noticed a concoction of drugs in the passenger side and knew immediately time was of the essence, but because of the location, it would be nigh on impossible for ambulance crews to reach her.
The quick-thinking pair carefully but swiftly removed Laura from the car and placed her on the back seat of the police car, with George in the back monitoring her breathing, before driving at speed back up the track and making contact with the ambulance crews en route.
At one point they had to remove Laura from the car and place her on the ground to ensure she was still breathing before continuing their way up the track.
Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, they reached the main road and flagged down the ambulance crews. Laura was transferred to hospital by ambulance and handed over to the critical care team.
It was touch and go as to whether she would survive, but thankfully she did.
Now, three years on from her ordeal and after receiving mental health treatment, Laura is happy and doing well with her daughter Ivy.
She tracked Barbara down via social media and expressed her desire to meet her and George to thank them for saving her life.
Earlier this month all four met in an emotional reunion at police HQ in Huntingdon.
“I wanted to meet the officers who saved my life and show them that I’m happy now and I have my little girl, Ivy,” said Laura.
“To others suffering with their mental health, I want to show that life can change in a good way.
“I was in such a state when I did what I did. I hadn’t eaten in days. I’d spoken to Hannah about her looking after my beloved dog when I was no longer here, and I’d even planned my funeral.
“When I took that overdose, I meant it. It was a genuine attempt on my life, but I’m proof that you can turn things around, you just need to be open to help and know when to reach out.
“There’s such a stigma around mental health, but I hope by sharing my story we can start to break it down.”
Barbara added: “There are some jobs that really stick with you, and this was certainly one of them. It’s rare we get to know the outcome of an incident and even rarer that we meet someone we’ve helped, so it’s been amazing to catch up with Laura.
“It’s so lovely to see her looking so well and meet little Ivy – Laura really does look like a different person, and it makes everything worthwhile.”
This is just one of many heartwarming examples where officers have gone above and beyond to protect and preserve life.