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Austin girl born in cardiac arrest thanks firefighters, stops by station on her way to senior prom

Lily Dashner, 18, stopped by Station 2 in her red dress before heading to prom.
Credit: Austin Fire Department/Fire Specialist Rikki Stankevitz

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: Though the department's Facebook post states Dashner was born prematurely, she claims she was actually born in cardiac arrest. This article has been corrected throughout.

Eighteen years ago, she was born in cardiac arrest. Now, she's headed to senior prom.

But first, a stop at the Austin Fire Department.

"Meet Lily Dashner," the AFD wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. "Were it not for the actions of four of our members 18 years ago, this lovely young woman might be nothing more than a tragic memory."

In 2003, Capt. Brandon Jennings, Capt. Ed Roel, Lt. Mike Lemerise and firefighter Ed Roberts were the crew on Engine 2 the night Dashner was born – the night the AFD said they saved her life.

Now a senior in high school, she stopped by Station 2 on Saturday, "dressed in her finest attire" on her way to prom. 

"While she was there, Lilly shared stories with the on-duty A-shift crew of the great love and admiration she had for those who had come to her home," the AFD wrote. 

The AFD said she told them that, while growing up, she always wanted to see "her fire truck number 2" driving down the road.

"Many times, we never know the impact our actions may have on a family," the AFD said. "But on Saturday, we got the privilege to meet one of our greatest success stories. Thank you to Lily and her family for taking the time to share what were surely difficult memories, and for letting us meet a real-life happy ending."

The AFD wished Dashner the best of luck on her next adventure, adding that the department – along with fire truck No. 2 – will be cheering her on all the way.

Dashner told KVUE she was a full-term baby but born at home in cardiac arrest. The firefighters were her first responders that day and EMS took her to the hospital, where she spent her first three weeks of life in the NICU.

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