Scottish politician Alex Cole-Hamilton’s little girl Darcy was watching YouTube when she suddenly swallowed a 50 cent Euro coin last night
A four-year-old girl watching YouTube uttered five terrifying words to her dad before she stopped breathing and changed colour.
Scottish politician Alex Cole-Hamilton’s daughter Darcy swallowed a 50 cent Euro coin as she sat happily in her pyjamas last night.
The MSP heard an “awful strangulated scream”, before his little girl said: “I have swallowed a penny,” the Daily Record reports.
She then became unable to breathe and started turning blue.
Horrified Mr Cole-Hamilton sprang into action, recalling skills he had learned in a first aid course more than 25 years ago.
The Lib-Dem health spokesman inverted the youngster and slapped her back with an open palm five times until she was sick.
Fortunately, although the coin didn’t come up, it seemingly moved enough to open Darcy’s airways because she let out a gasp.
Once she was breathing again, her father then managed to call 999. An ambulance arrived and the little girl was raced to hospital.
There, she had the coin removed under general anaesthetic.
Tonight, Darcy is “safe” and happy, “bothering her brothers and eating like a horse”, according to Mr Cole-Hamilton.
The MSP said on Twitter he is “counting blessings”.
He’s now calling for schoolkids to be taught first aid after learning from other parents that they wouldn’t have known what to do.
“So many concerned friends who’ve phoned or visited today have said that they’d never received any training like that,” he tweeted.
“So I’m going to start working with charities and first aid groups to build awareness of how easy it is to learn basic first aid.
“You can be that first responder.”
Mr Cole-Hamilton was heading out to meet up with his wife, Gill, at an event when the heart-stopping ordeal unfolded.
He recalled: “I was just handing over to the sitter at 7.15. Darcy was sitting watching YouTube in her jammies when I heard this awful strangulated scream. She said ‘I have swallowed a penny’.
“Then she was unable to breathe and started to change colour.
“I learned first aid about 20 years ago when I was learning to scuba dive . I knew I had to invert her and give her five or six firm backslaps and luckily after that she was sick.
“She didn’t sick up the coin but it must have moved it because I heard her gasp. Once I got her stabilised and breathing I called 999.”
He added: “I was just laser beam focussed. Nothing else mattered.
She was sick and retching trying to clear the blockage.
“The ambulance guy said if I hadn’t done what I did the outcome would have been very different.”
The dad-of-three’s voice trembled with emotion as he spoke.
He told the Record: “I remembered from 25 years ago the ABC rule – I managed to clear the airway, I’m just glad I didn’t need to breathe for her.
“Darcy was blue lighted to the sick kids hospital. She was really brave. They took an X-ray and she was in theatre in 45 minutes.”
The MSP was full of praise for the “heroes” of the medical profession who cared for his daughter after she swallowed the coin.
He said he spent the night at the youngster’s bedside.
And by this morning, she was “perky and wolfed down two bowls of Rice Krispies” for breakfast.
The little girl was later discharged home, where her loved ones were said to be “making a huge fuss of her”.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “Her two big brothers, Kit, who’s seven, and Finn, who’s 10, adore her. They are so protective of her”
He added: “The outcome of this was very good but there will be other families in Scotland this year not as lucky as we were.
“There are interventions you can do if a child is choking and there are things we can do to prevent it, like cutting up grapes and not allowing access to marbles but houses are full of knick-knacks kids will put in their mouths.
“I would like all children to be taught first aid in schools and will be reaching out to charities to see how we can do this.”