Medical City Arlington August 29, 2017

One day after welcoming her baby brother into the world and on her dad’s birthday, one-year-old Draya Michelle West was at her mom’s hospital bedside at Medical City Arlington eating when she suddenly stopped breathing. Draya’s mother, Patrina West, noticed her toddler was unresponsive. Doctors worked rapidly to resuscitate her.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), choking is the leading cause of death among children, especially those three years old and younger. AAP recommends cutting foods into small pieces that could be choking hazards for young children, such as grapes, other fruits, meat and cheese.

“It’s always best to be safe than sorry, so taking the time to cut food into small pieces for young children is important,” says Charles Phillips, MD, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Medical City Arlington. “Fortunately, the family was already at the hospital.”

“I am always very cautious about the types of food Draya eats,” says Draya’s mother, Patrina West. “I am so thankful for the quick assistance from the medical team at Medical City Arlington. This is truly the best gift next to the birth of my son!”

“This was the best birthday present I’ve ever had in my life!” says Draya’s father, Deandre West.

Draya West is fully recovered and enjoying getting to know her baby brother.

Doctors say it’s always a good idea to know how to help someone in distress.

Learn how to save a life with Hands-only CPR.

Watch this video to learn how to do infant CPR.