A stay-at-home mother in Texas said she was able to save her daughter from a choking episode that could have been deadly.
Jennifer Hull, 34, from the town of Prosper, was fidgeting with the TV in her children’s playroom when she heard a startling noise. It was the sound of her 1-year-old daughter, Hollis, gasping for air.
"I immediately jumped into mommy mode when it happened," Hull told ABC News. "It was very scary."
Earlier this week, Hollis and her older sister Hatilynn, 3, had been playing with their dollhouse and nibbling veggie chips when, suddenly, Hollis started to choke.
The harrowing scene, which was captured on the family’s nanny cam, unfolded quickly. The footage shows Hollis coughing and running frantically toward her mother. Hull said she instantly responded when she heard the sound of her daughter choking.
First, Hull said she told Hatilynn to grab some water and then she began to hit Hollis on her back. Nothing happened, so she started to perform the Heimlich maneuver, a technique she learned in infant safety classes. It wasn’t long before the food came flying from Hollis’ throat and onto the floor.
Hull said she was petrified for the rest of the day, but the severity of the moment didn’t really set in until she told her husband, Tyler, when he came home from work later that night.
"We were both so shocked at how scary it really was," Hull said. "It’s even scarier when we think of what the outcome could have been."
She said her husband, a real estate professional, spent the remainder of the night crying. "He felt helpless as he watched the video," Jennifer Hull said, noting that she still has a hard time watching the video, or talking about the event.
The story gained national attention after Jennifer Hull posted about her experience on her Facebook page.
"At first I was reluctant to share the actual footage of her choking because it’s so personal," Jennifer Hull said. However, she decided to share it after her family and friends encouraged her to, saying that it could help other parents.
She said she was grateful that she and her husband were proactive about child safety during both her pregnancies.
"We sat through every class that our hospital gave," Hull said. "It’s the least that you can do if you’re going to bring a baby into the world."
Hull, a former teacher, also took child safety classes as a part of her professional training, but she said there’s no amount of training that could have prepared her, emotionally, for what she went through with Hollis.
"It’s different when it’s your child who’s helpless and gasping for air," she said. Still, she urges parents get as prepared as they can.
People from all over the country have commended the young mother on Facebook for what they see as an amazing act of courage, but Hull says she still beats herself up over her handling of the situation.
"I just wished I could have noticed her when she first started to have trouble breathing," she said. "I wish I could have gotten to her sooner."