Paris Baker was playing with her daughters when she suddenly started choking on a crisp.
The 29-year-old, from Feltham, Middlesex, lives with motor neurone disease (MND) and she had taught her daughters Kallie, nine, and Harper, five, first aid in case they ever needed to help her.
Because of what she’d shown them, they were able to dislodge the hula-hoop and save her life.
Now the mum is calling on all parents to teach their kids the basics of first-aid to ensure they can help in an emergency.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I am so grateful we taught our daughters what to do in an emergency situation.
‘I only taught them first aid because of the illness I’m living with but that proved to me that accidents like that can happen to absolutely anyone.’
In 2017, Paris was diagnosed with MND, a rare condition where the nervous system slowly deteriorates affecting the entire body.
Paris explains: ‘When I was diagnosed with MND, I was given two to five years to live. As this disease progresses it will completely paralyse my body while mentally still being there, so effectively I will become trapped in my body.
‘I originally started getting symptoms in 2016. At the time I was working in a stock room and randomly would lose grip and drop parcels. My speech became slurred and started getting twitches in my arm.
‘Then the muscle in my hand faded away. It took over a year of intensive tests including numerous MRI’s, blood work, X-rays, lumbar puncture, lung function tests and finally a EMG test to diagnose MND.’
MND is usually diagnosed in people over 40 and it is rare for it to be found in someone of Paris’ age.
She adds: ‘I am a former British gymnast and represented Great Britain and won silver at the European and World Championships.
‘My neurologist said I was the fittest and one of the youngest to ever be diagnosed. My neurologist is amazed at the fact I’ve nearly been diagnosed for nearly four years and am still able to walk and talk as I am beating statistics. I’m still here.
‘The condition impacts me enormously. I am mainly affected with my speech and hands. I find simple tasks difficult. I am no longer able to write as I cannot grip a pen and struggle with things like getting dressed, doing my hair and makeup, cooking etc.
‘My left hand is completely paralysed and my right hand is now affected. My shoulders have become very stiff and I am no longer able to lift my arms. My speech has become very slurred so it’s difficult for people to understand me.’
Before her diagnosis, Paris was a teaching assistant and had learnt first aid through her work.
She decided to take what she knew and pass it onto her girls as she was worried about what would happen as the disease worsened.
She said: ‘Due to my condition, I am prone to falls and have obtained some serious injuries from them, including a broken nose, splitting my chin and also splitting my head open which all needed surgery or stitches.
‘I felt it was very important to teach my girls what to do in an emergency situation.
‘This included applying pressure to a bleeding wound, what to do if someone is choking and how to call the emergency services.
‘They know that if my husband (their dad) isn’t home and an emergency occurs there are three steps.
‘Step one ring is to 999, ask for an ambulance and give our address. Step two is to put our dogs in the garden and step three is to open the front door for the emergency services. There are also very useful videos on YouTube to teach children first aid.’
Paris’ husband Daniel works part-time as a postman alongside being her carer but there are times where she is alone with the children and she is still able to care for them at the moment.
Last month, they had to use their skills and were able to save her life.
Paris explains: ‘Harper was playing mums, feeding me, then her teddy and finally herself. It was an accident. After a few turns, the Hula Hoop shot to the back of my throat.
‘They immediately started hitting my back as I leant forward. After about a minute of them delivering me hard and regular blows to my back, Kallie went to call an ambulance as she started to worry.
‘As she did this Harper carried on hitting my back and thankfully the Hula hoop finally dislodged. I am so proud of how they immediately knew what to do and kept calm throughout that scary ordeal.
‘Only after did the panic and shock hit them which is completely understandable.
‘I am sharing my story to encourage adults to teach children basic first aid and what to do in an emergency situation because they can save a life just like my girls saved mine. I owe them everything and am so proud.’
You can follow Paris and her family’s journey on her Facebook page MND won’t beat me and my family.
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