A PARENT’S worst nightmare sparked a search for a woman who rescued a lost boy at Settlement City on Wednesday.
Curtis Chumley, 3, wandered from his mother’s side during a shopping trip when he became preoccupied with an illuminated toy sword.
His mother, Ally Chumley, made a frantic search of the centre aided by a number of people. Security staff were notified, but there was no sign of the little boy.
“Every parent can probably identify with the absolute panic that sets in when you realise your little one has vanished after taking your eyes off them for just a few seconds,” Ms Chumley said.
“I had just about lost my voice calling out to Curtis.
“It was so wonderful to see the variety of people who sprang up to help me.”
Fortunately an alert woman noticed Curtis wandering alone in the car park near the canal where he had gone to try and find his mum.
She took the youngster in to the centre’s security office where staff soon reunited Curtis with his mother.
Mrs Chumley said she was so overwhelmed with relief she didn’t properly thank the kind woman who had thoughtfully cared for her son.
He was perched on his rescuer’s lap when she came into the office, but the woman slipped out the door before leaving details.
“I immediately wanted to offer some kind of reward to the lady who helped us,” Mrs Chumley said.
“But what price can you put on a child’s safety?”
Ms Chumley and her husband Andy own and operate an after-school tuition centre, Coach House, which has recently opened a new campus in Jindalee Road.
They support the Grandparents As Parents Again (GAPA) organisation in Port Macquarie through a scholarship program and have offered their son’s rescuer a full year’s scholarship in mathematics or English for a child of their choice.
“We’re hoping our special lady is a grandmother or godmother to a child who could do with some help at school,” she said.
Anyone who knows the identity of the good Samaritan can phone 6559 5745 or 0439 218 705.