Rick Corbett of Arlington, Va., uses CPR training to save life of granddaughter Leila as she choked on fruit

10:42 PM, Aug 21, 2012   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -  A little girl from Arlington is lucky to be alive after her grandfather came to her rescue as she choked on a piece of fruit.

Fortunately, her family sprang into action to save the one-year-old's life.

"I mean It was probably the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced in my life when she turned blue and I was fearing for the worst," said Leila Corbett's mother Arianne Corbett.

Leila Corbett is back to playing with her toys and big sister in her Arlington home, but on Sunday afternoon, she gave her family the biggest scare of their lives.

"She was just not breathing, laying there limp and I panicked," said Arianne.

Leila was just finishing up lunch when her parents gave her small pieces of ripe soft cantaloupe. One piece got stuck in her throat and Leila stopped breathing.

Leila's dad called 9-1-1 just after lunch. He relayed instructions to his father who had had CPR training as a boy scout.

"Do you want to start CPR on her?" the 911 operator asked. "Listen carefully and I'll tell you what to do. Lay the baby flat on its back... on the floor."

Following the operator's instructions, Rick Corbett performed mouth to mouth on his granddaughter, while relying on his CPR training he learned as a boy scout.

"Completely cover the baby's mouth and nose with your mouth, blow two small breaths," coached the 911 operator.

"I tilted her mouth up, did a couple quick breaths, didn't get any reaction," said Leila's grandfather, Rick Corbett. "I did a couple more (breaths) than she started choking and hacking, and breathing on her own."

Corbett never expected he would have to use his CPR training, especially on the day of his granddaughter's birthday party with friends. Leila missed her party, but thankfully she'll be able to celebrate later.

"You never think it's going to be you," said Arianne. "I just wish I had that training so I wouldn't have panicked."

Leila's parents said doctors told them they did nothing wrong.
And that the smartest thing they did was call 9-1-1, instead of taking her to the hospital themselves.

Leila's parents also hope their story will encourage other parents to get CPR training.

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