When Lindsay Cucciardi was just 14 years old, she survived a near-death experience after a serious car crash in Marsaskala. Two Maltese policemen saved her life that fateful night in 1997.
Nearly 25 years on, Cucciardi unexpectedly reunited with one of her rescuers, ex-officer Robert Vassallo.
“My colleague Anthony Axiak and I were on night patrol in Marsascala that night. Suddenly, we came across a car that had smashed into a wall head-on. We knew it was serious.”
“When we approached it, we saw a young girl in a pool of blood, trapped between the dashboard and smashed windscreen,” Vassallo told Lovin Malta.
His colleague Axiak called an ambulance and broke the door of the car. They performed first aid on Cucciardi, wrapping her head in a towel to stop her bleeding to death while they waited for more help to arrive.
“I remember the ambulance personnel saying if we hadn’t done what we did, she would have gone to the other side,” the ex-officer continued.
Cucciardi went on to fully recover from the incident. Meanwhile, after decades serving in the police force, Vassallo turned in his blue uniform to become a business owner, running a convenience store with his wife Odette.
Little did they both know though, Cucciardi was a regular at Vassallo’s store for years.
“Just the other day I went to get my hair cut. There was a woman waiting for her son to finish his appointment… when she looked at me and smiled.”
“She said I had saved her sister’s life 24 years ago,” Vassallo recounted, in disbelief that Cucciardi, a store regular, was the teenager he had saved so many years ago.
Cucciardi was equally in disbelief when her sister broke the news.
“The day that changed my life forever, I was just 14 years old!“
“I don’t remember anything from that night – it was a truly traumatic experience. The only memory I have is opening my eyes in the hospital and seeing my mother screaming,” Cucciardi recalled, thanking Vassallo for saving her life.
It’s a small world indeed – and these serendipitous encounters are what make life so beautiful.
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