SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A Santa Barbara father spoke out after losing his daughter while she was partying at a friends house. He said she would still be alive if those at the party would have just called 911.
“We have this beautiful person who has her wings now,” said Robb Murphy, who is Jillian's father. “I just wish she was still here.”
Murphy says losing his only child left him feeling empty.
“This should have never happened,” said Murphy.
His daughter, Jillian, died three weeks ago. The 23-year-old was with her boyfriend and several others at a friend's house in Camarillo. By the end of the night, she was in the hospital.
“The story we got from the boyfriend is that they found her not breathing at 12:30 in the morning,” said Murphy. “And the three of them panicked, and a couple of the boys begged him not to call 911 because they didn’t want to get in trouble for having drugs in the house.”
Jillian's parents say the doctors told them some sort of illegal substance was used, but it was lack of oxygen that killed her.
“Jillian had fallen asleep and she had aspirated which means she threw-up and choked,” said Murphy. “Between the time they found her, and the time they conspired to formulate a plan to get her to the hospital, approximately an hour had passed where she was without air.”
When she did arrive at the hospital, Jillian was in cardiac arrest, and ended up in a coma for four days before passing away.
“At one point we had the ICU doctor and the neurosurgeon in the room and both of them told her mother and I to our faces, had they called 911 when they initially found her she would be awake and with us,” said Murphy.
Now Jillian's parents are channeling their grief into keeping Jillian's memory alive, and doing what they can to prevent this from happening to other families. They donated her organs in hopes that one day they will hear her heartbeat again, and also created the JJEM foundation in her name.
“The mission now is to spread the message A; that there is protection,” said Murphy. “You don’t have to fear calling 911 and then B; it is legislation adaptation for laws that will criminalize it if you don’t.”
For now, Robb has a constant reminder of his daughter. He had one of her tattoos replicated.
“So now we have matching tattoos finally,” said Murphy.
Murphy hopes families will talk to their kids about calling 911 and drug use. They are also planning a paddle out this Sunday at West Beach in Santa Barbara at 4 p.m. in memory of Jillian.
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