A mum has thanked heroic supermarket staff who saved the life of her baby daughter when she started choking – on a SMARTIE.
Little Lily-Mae Martine began to turn blue and struggled for breath after she got half of one of the chocolate treats stuck in her throat in a Morrisons store.
Her mother Charlotte Martine, 26, frantically tried to dislodge the Smartie but it remained trapped in the 22-month-old’s throat.
Luckily, staff member Claire Fish, 42, heard the commotion from a nearby aisle and leapt into action to rush to the tot’s aid.
She firmly struck Lily-Mae between her shoulder blades which removed the chocolate fragment and allowed her to breathe again.
Yesterday, mum Charlotte praised staff at the Morrisons supermarket in Malvern, Worcs., for saving her daughter’s life last Tuesday morning (1/3).
The nursery nurse said: “We were in the last aisle which is freezer stuff so we were nearly finished when she just began to choke.
“I grabbed her and started whacking her on the back. I thought she had got it out but she hadn’t, I started panicking.
“My mum had a go as well and then members of staff came and they shouted on the tannoy for first aiders to come.
“Claire who works at Morrisons rushed over and grabbed her and gave her a harder whack and managed to get it out.
“Lily-Mae had gone very blue. It felt like hours but it wasn’t, it was like slow-motion.
“It was horrific but Claire did the right thing and did a remarkable job, she definitely saved her life.
“If you think about what could have happened it makes me want to cry because you never know how long the ambulance will take.”
Lily-Mae’s grandmother Janet Peplow, 49, who was there at the time, returned to the store later the same day to thank staff.
Charlotte, who lives with husband James, 27, and their two children Jack, five, and Lily-Mae, in Bromyard, Herefordshire, added: “We cannot express how grateful we are for her quick thinking and how well they all took care of all of us.
“At the time I was just in a bubble.
“I didn’t really know what was going on.
“I just thought the worst, but now thinking about it it makes me want to cry because they were just so lovely and helpful.
“I just wanted to say thank you because they were so nice. There were so many of them that came to help.
“There were two members of the public, there was a lady and another lady with her and they were just hugging me the whole time.
“It makes you think there are good people about.”
Heroic Claire, who works in Morrisons’ dry cleaning department, leapt into action after remembering her mother doing the same for her when she was six-years-old.
She said: “It was all a bit of a blur. She couldn’t breathe in, and her little lips had gone blue.
“It is just instinct. It brought it all back to me. I just thought I have got to get it out. I just wanted her to breathe.”
Paramedics arrived and rushed Lily-Mae to the nearby Worcester Royal Hospital to be checked over but she is now recovering well.
Mark Kirman, store manager, added: “It is nice that we have members of staff who are trained in first aid and are willing to help when it is needed.”