Mum thanks nursery for saving choking daughter's life

Article By: Angeline Albert

The mother of a two-year-old girl who went into cardiac arrest minutes after choking on her lunch at nursery, has praised the actions of quick-thinking staff who helped save her child.

Two-year-old Eden Langley at Hull Royal Infirmary Credit: Laura Robinson

Mum Laura Robinson received the frightening news her daughter Eden Langley was being rushed to hospital from nursery and has since expressed her gratitude to staff at Penguin Daycare Nursery who performed CPR on the little girl in a bid to save her life.

The toddler had been eating lunch at the Hull-based childcare setting on 12 March, when staff realised she was choking on her food.

Back blows, abdominal thrusts and CPR

Everyone working on the premises is paediatric first aid trained and staff responded speedily to the crisis by performing back blows, abdominal thrusts and CPR on the toddler, while another team member phoned an ambulance.

Their actions led the child’s mum to get on social media to thank all staff involved in her daughter’s care. She praised them by sharing her story via Facebook with the words: ‘We can't express enough our heartfelt thanks to Penguin Daycare Nursery’.

Remembering the horror she felt upon arrival at the hospital to see her daughter, Mrs Robinson wrote: ‘My baby was laid out mottled purple and cold to touch. She was taking small occasional gasps and I was told she still had the obstruction in her throat (sausage).

‘Blood reports indicated she had gone into cardiac arrest probably minutes after choking. The team prepped her for theatre and we later learned they were seconds away for performing a tracheotomy.’

Hospital staff managed to dislodge the sausage from the child’s airway but she was unresponsive. ‘By that point she had been without oxygen for around 20 minutes’ ... ‘the staff were concerned about brain damage’.

‘Thank god slowly, over a couple of hours she became responsive and started recovering’.

The incident began at the nursery at around 11.30am but by 2.30pm the toddler was on a hospital ward and was able to talk to her mum. The two-year-old was discharged from hospital the very next day.

Mum: 'CPR ultimately saved her life'

Credit: Shutterstock

Mrs Robinson said: ‘We can't express enough our heartfelt thanks to Penguin Daycare Nursery where every single member of staff (including domestic) are trained in paediatric first aid. This is not a legal requirement.

'Staff who noticed her choking in seconds, performed back blows, abdominal thrusts and CPR.

‘When a child’s airway is blocked you have around 3-4 minutes before brain damage or death occur. The CPR has ultimately saved her life and lasting brain damage by continuing to push blood around the body to the brain.

‘Thank you for your whole team approach and staying with her throughout the whole ordeal in hospital.'

Staff: 'Most of us were crying'

Rachel Twidale, account manager at Penguin Daycare Nursery told “We just did our job. We followed procedure. All our staff are paediatric first aid trained. Even I’m paediatric trained.

“We are very, very lucky, everybody worked as a team. One was doing first aid, another was ringing an ambulance, others were looking after the other children in the dining room. We are very proud of every one of them.”

Rachel Twidale is the mother of the nursery’s manager Charlie Twidale - who is 34 weeks pregnant and was due to go on maternity leave just days after the incident. The concerns of worried nursery staff disappeared and was replaced with elation, when the two-year-old returned to the nursery a week later on 20 March, after making a full recovery.

Rachel Twidale said: “Most of us were crying when she came back yesterday, she made us a beautiful card. Our owner [Natalie Billany] is taking is us all out for a meal to say thank you. It has affected the staff involved but luckily she is okay so everyone is really happy.

“We’ve been looking into getting Millie’s Mark [accreditation].

"We were prepared" but she added "it is something we’d never want to experience again.”

Mille’s Mark has been described as England’s ‘gold standard’ in paediatric first aid. The voluntary scheme is named after Millie Thompson, who died after choking on food at a nursery in 2012 when she was just nine-months-old. The achievement of Millie's Mark acknowledges staff would be confident in saving a child’s life, if they needed to.

Millie’s Mark is available to early years childcare providers in England but the aim is to roll out the accreditation in Scotland and Wales.

Mrs Robinson said she wants 'to highlight the dangers of choking and the importance of knowing paediatric first aid and CPR'. Describing her daughter Eden’s return to health, she added: ‘Eden is back to her normal fun loving, chatterbox cheeky self, running rings round us and has no recollection of her ordeal.'

To learn how to achieve Millie’s Mark accreditation visit:

click here for more details or to contact Penguin Day Care Nursery


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