Store employee helps save 2-year-old girl left in hot car

A store employee helped save a 2-year-old girl left in a hot car in a Grand Prairie mall parking lot.

Destini Bates, an employee at a Rue 21 clothing store in the mall, performed CPR on the girl until paramedics arrived.

Police said the child’s grandmother forgot about her while she shopped for 30 minutes. When the grandmother realized the child was not with her, she ran out to the car, found the girl unresponsive and called 911. People rushed to help and took the girl into the Rue 21 to get her cool.

“I ran up there, checked her pulse and couldn't feel her heartbeat,” Bates said. “I put my cheek up to her mouth to see if there was any breath coming out and couldn't feel anything."

A recent graduate from Mansfield Legacy, Bates was an athletic trainer there for four years and was trained in CPR.

"I think it was God. It was definitely fate that she walked into here instead of another store,” Bates said.

Bates did everything she could until paramedics arrived.

“I got her to cough, but it wasn't a lot,” Bates said. “I couldn't get her to make really a lot of noise or get her to look at me. I was just trying to keep her with us until the ambulance got there."

Grand Prairie Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy said Bates giving the child CPR was one of many steps that helped the girl survive.

“With the body surface area of a child that small, they're going to heat up,” Murphy said. “Their body core temperature is going to go up a lot faster than an adult."

Bates said she was told the child is doing better and is expected to recover.

“I think I took all those classes in high school for that moment yesterday,” Bates said. “I think that was what that was meant for.”