A NEWBURY mother managed to save her 11-month-old baby’s life after seeing an online advert.
Fiona Mew, 39, described the moment her daughter Anneliese started to choke during her evening meal last month, as “terrifying”.
Thankfully, she knew what to do after previously seeing a St John Ambulance animated advert The Chokeables, which demonstrates how to save a choking baby.
The advert features celebrities, including David Walliams, David Mitchell and Johnny Vegas, who play several choking hazards that are fed up with babies choking on them.
It is the charity’s most popular video, with more than eight million views online.
For Miss Mew, the advert helped save her baby’s life on Wednesday, July 19, when a normal meal time took a dramatic turn.
She explained: “I was feeding my 11-month-old baby daughter her dinner. Anneliese is quite petite for her age, so even though she is now on lumpier food, she needs to remember to chew.
“That night she was having her favourite, beef stew for 10 months, which is described as 'chunky and lumpy’, which is fine as my daughter now has six teeth.
“She started to eat a small lump of soft potato, which was no bigger than the size of a pea, but as soon as she had swallowed the spoonful she started to choke.
“This sometimes happens if she doesn’t chew enough; normally she will cough a couple of times and then I’ll give her a drink of water and everything is fine. This time was different.
“She was making a proper choking sound and her face was turning very red, almost purple in colour.”
Miss Mew panicked, picking her daughter up out of her highchair, and, keeping her more upright, started firmly patting her back.
“It didn’t work,” she said.
“I had to think quick, ‘what do I do’? Then a flash of the St John Ambulance advert about what to do when your baby chokes stood out to me and I remembered to turn Anneliese on to her stomach on my lap and firmly pat her back.
“A couple of pats doing it this way and suddenly the lump of potato, which I’d not realised was hard and black as it was covered in gravy, shot out onto the floor.
“I was so relieved and proceeded to calm my daughter, who was obviously very upset, but everything was fine.”
She added: “I am so eternally grateful to St John Ambulance for making such a brilliant advert, which meant I could help my daughter quickly and efficiently.
“I don't know what would have happened next if I hadn't been able to stop her choking.”
Regional director for St John Ambulance in London and the South, Elizabeth Harper, said: “I’m delighted to hear Fiona was able to help her baby daughter, thanks to The Chokeables advert.
“Stories like this are living proof that life-saving first aid can be quick and easy to learn – and once you know what to do, you have the confidence to take action quickly and potentially save a life.”
The advert was launched in January 2015 after research showed that 78 per cent of parents in the South East did not know how to help a choking baby, despite 58 per cent saying it was a major concern.
For more information, go to www.sja.org.uk/thechokeables