The power of social media unites unconscious mother and local hero

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The power of social media unites unconscious mother and local hero  || By Philippa Mannagh



When a call went out to the Onerahi Community Group page to find her life saver, Shari Lee Dearn could not believe how fast the internet would track this good samaritan down. Today she meets Murray Tebbutt, the man who saved her life at Mairpark on Thursday 15th February around 12pm. On the local page, Shari Lee shared, “I was found unconscious at Mair Park, slumped over the picnic table at the bottom by the ducks. I was not in a good way, someone passing by quickly rang an ambulance and may have performed CPR to keep me alive until the paramedics arrived. I regained consciousness for a small time, I remember the name Murray been said.”

Followers of the page shared the status, reaching over 6200 concerned community members. It wasn’t long until wife Betty Tebbutt replied to the call and joined the online thread, “This Murray is my husband if you like to ring me or him.” This morning, this local lady was able to say thankyou to all those who shared the post and the biggest thank you of all to Murray and those others that also helped her while she was unconscious.


I met up with Shari to find out more.

The name Murray came to her in her dreams, two weeks after the event. Before this, she was unable to remember anything after texting her friends to met up for lunch. She’d been feeling a bit light headed when this young mother went about her day running errands and going to appointments. Needing some fresh air, Shari wandered down to Mair Park in her dress and sandals to sit by the ducks and give herself some time out.

She began to feel like she was going to faint and tried to focus on the amount of ducks around her and fighting off fears of collapsing in the middle of the park. Nearly two hours later, she woke up in the hospital bed having had fought for her life in between.

Her speech was mumbled and heart rate low. It was hard to recognise her own husband for a while as memory loss took over. She wondered how she had got here and what had happened since taking a walk. Tests were carried out and there have been no clear answers however Shari has been advised to look after herself and continue monitoring her heart rate. She says the scary thing is wondering if an episode will happen again and when.

As she gained strength, she started to wonder about who may have saved her but her mind was blank.

This night she grasped a mere name, she wondered how accurate it was. She also remembered a child’s name being called, Lucian. This was all her memory would give her and the ambulance at the scene had no record of a rescuer either.

Not wanting to relive the moment, yet desperate to know who had saved her life she was talked into putting an anonymous post on the Onerahi page. There are also more people involved that she would like to meet. One however, came through fast when Murray’s wife saw the post on the internet.

Shari said there was a special connection when the pair met for coffee one month later. She knew his voice already and described it as an emotional meeting. “He was so touched to see me chatting and feeling ok, it was like a big Dad hug.”

“I remember now, people around warning that I may have been drunk or an addict so to keep clear of me.”

“I am definitely not, it was an unusual health scare. Sitting there in my dress with my bag over my shoulder, i’m so glad that people did stop to help me and that Murray came back over the bridge to check if I was ok. Left any longer and I may not be here.”

The response online has been huge with over 90 post shares and information coming in about Shari’s other rescuers that day, one who may have performed CPR on her and also the reason why she is still here today.   


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