My neighbor saved my 3-year-old from choking to death — she was turning blue

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A Maryland woman is forever grateful to a heroic neighbor who saved her young daughter’s life — and now she is encouraging other parents to learn first aid and CPR.

Leah Porritt, 42, a special education behavior specialist from Baltimore, recalled the terrifying October 2017 moment when she found her then-3-year-old daughter, Maddie, in the bathtub as her lips turned white, her feet and fingers became blue, and she struggled to breathe.

Porritt claims she had drained the tub after bathing Maddie, as well as her son, Cameron. She said she could hear Maddie singing and cleaning up her bath toys while she dressed Cameron in the room across the hall — until Maddie suddenly went silent.

Leah Porritt and husband Kenny
Porritt and her husband, Kenny, share Maddie and Cameron.
Leah Porritt Facebook

“I didn’t hear her anymore, and when I yelled her name, she didn’t respond,” Porritt remembered.

She continued: “I ran into the bathroom, and she was looking at me from the tub with her mouth open and arms extended, fear on her face. I attempted to sweep her mouth out, but didn’t feel anything. I picked her up and pounded on her back, but nothing. I could see her panic, and her lips were blue.”

Thinking fast, Porritt said she picked her daughter up and ran out of the home to a neighbor who had first aid and CPR experience.

“She must have heard me screaming because she was opening the door as I got there,” she recounted.

“She grabbed my daughter from me, whose feet were blue as I passed her over. With one hard hit on the back, the toy flew out of her mouth. I have never been so relieved in my life,” Porritt added.

After the heroic neighbor successfully dislodged the toy from Maddie’s throat, paramedics arrived to give the panicked pair the all-clear.

The worried mother said she “didn’t sleep that night” and vowed to educate herself to be more helpful in these types of scary situations.

“The next morning I went online and signed up for the [first] first aid and CPR class I could find,” she revealed.

“After I was trained, I recruited my local fire department to come to the school I was working in at the time and trained both my colleagues and many of the parents of my students.”

Leah Porritt and husband Kenny in formalwear
The Porritts hope everyone learns first aid and CPR to prevent deadly disasters.
Leah Porritt Facebook

Porritt works to spread awareness to others, so they never have to experience what she went through with Maddie.

“Children can choke on food while you are sitting next to them at the dinner table. All parents should know how to help,” she stated.

As for Maddie, Porritt says she is a “thriving” athlete and student who is “an amazing empathetic, kind, strong and independent girl.”

“I just thank God that it turned out the way it did, and that I have been given this chance to raise such a special girl,” the proud mother beamed.

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