Little girl’s terrifying final moments

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A distraught mum and dad have spoken for the first time about the agonising minutes that led up to their child’s death after she choked on a cocktail frankfurt bought from a supermarket deli counter.

Imogen Lennon, from Canowindra in rural New South Wales, died last month after a piece of her favourite snack became lodged in her throat.

Her parents have called for a simple medical device, that might have prevented their daughter’s death, to be more widely known and available.

Imogen’s mum Samantha Lennon said her daughter was “scared” as it became clear she was unable to breathe.

Five-year-old Imogen Lennon choked to death on a frankfurtFive-year-old Imogen Lennon choked to death on a frankfurt

The five-year-old had been enjoying the treat in the back seat of her family’s car while chatting away happily when tragedy struck.

“Suddenly she sung out ‘Mum,” said Ms Lennon who had been driving her daughter home from swimming lessons.

“And then she made this horrible gurgling sound. When I looked back her lips were turning blue.

“I immediately pulled over and tried everything to try and get it out,” She told Channel 9’s A Current Affair.

“She’s was just saying ‘Mum’. And she was scared. I was scared for her.”

Parents Bill and Sam are distraught at their loss. Picture: Channel 9.Parents Bill and Sam are distraught at their loss. Picture: Channel 9.

Ms Lennon is a trained first aider but the still she was unable to dislodge the frankfurt piece. Heading to the town’s small hospital there was no doctor. But two nurses and a cleaner as well as Ms Lennon and her husband Bill all tried desperately to stop Imogen from choking.

“I was even hoping do CPR on my own child which was really confronting but as a mum you do anything you could save your child’s life.”

But to no avail. Imogen died at the Canowindra hospital.

Her mum tried everything toe save Imogen.Her mum tried everything toe save Imogen.

Choking is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14 years old.

There are several methods to help dislodge an object in the throat. Initially these include slaps to the upper back while the patient is facing downwards. Abdominal thrusts, the Heimlich manoeuvre, is also used.

But there’s also a little known device, approved by the TGA that may work in some cases. Called a LifeVac it effectively works like a plunger but for the throat.

Its makers claim its saved 735 lives worldwide including 449 children.

“I think there’s a bit of a blind faith that first aid measures will always work,”,” said Simon Gold, a former paramedic who promotes the product.

“But considering you really have a very short space of time, we can’t muck around and just keep trying the same things over and over again and failing.”

Imogen Lennon was much loved.Imogen Lennon was much loved.

The Lennons are still distraught over their daughter’s death.

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“Make sure you cut the food up for your children and always encourage them to chew more so that you lessen that risk,” said Ms Lennon.

“If we can save one other family from having to feel that absolutely heartbreaking pain then we have done her proud as parents.”

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