The mother of a seven-year-old girl who died while playing with a balloon now wants to warn other parents about the dangers.
“Alexandra Hope Kelly was born on September 27, 2016 and made all my dreams come true,” said Channa Kelly from Tennessee in the USA, in a post on Facebook. “She was curious and asked questions about everything. She loved arts and crafts, swimming in her grandma and grandpa’s pool, and spending time with her friends.”
Kelly says Alexandra liked to talk and impressed her mother with her ability to understand and express herself.
“She made everyone smile and brought so much joy and cheer into my life.”
For her birthday party on September 24, Kelly bought a large rainbow colored balloon about 86 cm in size in the number 7. The balloon is filled with helium. Along with it were about 10 large latex balloons.
“As a parent, I have always been aware that a child could possibly suffocate on latex balloons, but I could never have imagined that there is such a great risk with the large Mylar helium-filled balloons.”
A week after the party, Kelly was sitting with Alexandra when she wanted to see if she could crack the big number 7. “I never thought that she would be able to pull the balloon over her head. I went to my room, oblivious to the dangers. I slept for a short time and when I woke up, my daughter was lying on her stomach on the living room floor where I had left her. For a moment I thought she had fallen asleep, but then I saw the Mylar balloon was wrapped around her head.”
Kelly quickly removed the balloon, called 911 and immediately began CPR.
“I had to ask the emergency services to remind me what steps to follow for CPR, because I did my certification so long ago – I didn’t want to make a mistake.”
A police officer arrived and took over from Kelly. Firefighters and paramedics arrived soon after.
“They haunted relentlessly to bring her back to life, but all their efforts were in vain. I cried terribly and was in absolute shock and disbelief at what had happened. My daughter and only child was gone.”
Kelly says that on October 1, her whole world came crashing down because she was not aware of the dangers that these types of balloons entail.
“We are currently awaiting the preliminary results of the cause of her death. I understand it can last between four and six months. I would like to share our story so that I can raise awareness and educate parents about the dangers of not only latex balloons, but also Mylar balloons.
“I hope and pray that this message can save and protect the lives of other children. I don’t want anyone else to experience the same pain and suffering that the loss of a child brings.”