VIDEO: How a McDonald's Saved a 14-Month-Old from Choking to Death by Anthony Smith

August 7, 2012 3:40 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
McDonald's Baby
How a McDonald's Saved a Choking Baby (Photo: Screenshot)

Surveillance video captured the terrifying moment when little Vaokakala Nevaeh Mara Tere-Vave was innocently nibbling on a Filet-o-Fish and a side of fries with her parents when, suddenly, one of the fries got caught in her throat.

Witnesses say (and video footage from the incident corroborates) that the infant started gasping for air and becoming cyanotic as her frantic parents brought her to the counter and began to beg the McDonald's staff for help.

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"She was going, 'Save my baby, she's choking, she's not breathing," claimed James Hatcher, the twenty-one year old restaurant manager in an interview with Channel 9 Australia's "A Current Affair," the first to air the footage.

The surveillance tapes show the little girl face down on the counter as Hatcher and a gathering of many other workers and patrons all laid on hands in an attempt to dislodge the fry from the infant's throat. It was at that point that Naomi Donovan, an eyewitness, claimed the little girl went still, not-breathing, for just under five minutes.

"I'm thinking she might nor survive," Donovan said, "She's in my hands, I'm staring at her parents screaming and crying."

Fortunately for all involved, Hatcher and a fellow manager, Rachel White, were able to get the french fry out of the infant's throat and save the baby's life.

"It was one of the worst moments of my life. It was difficult to close our eyes that night and not think of that moment," said Glory Mara Tere, "We are just so grateful to the staff at McDonald's and to James... We can't thank them enough."

Here's the video of the terrifying incident:



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