Illinois family thanks paramedics who saved choking toddler's life

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The family of a toddler who choked on a grape got a chance to thank the paramedics who saved her.

An Illinois family gave an emotional thank you on Thursday to the paramedics who saved their young daughter's life.

Elizabeth Avila said the incident happened three months ago, when her 3-year-old daughter Teresa choked while eating grapes.

"She ate grapes all the time," Avila said. "She ate grapes every day. We ere comfortable to give her grapes. Well, we were wrong."

Teci, as her parents call her, was unable to breathe, and her family called 911. Paramedic Kevin Lapointe was the first on the scene and started CPR on Teresa.

"You look at her like she's your child," Lapointe said.

Lapointe worked for 19 minutes before Teresa began breathing again. The incident left the girl with a severe brain injury.

"The next day after this call, I was just sitting at home and thinking, 'Oh man, I hope she's doing well," Lapointe said. "You can't help but think about it."

After a month in the ICU and two months of rehab, Teresa is on her way to New Orleans for hyperbaric oxygen treatments.

Avila said she is confident the next time the family sees the paramedics, Teresa will have recovered.

"This little girl's strong, she's a fighter, she's stubborn, she's not quitting," Avila said. "So how can we quit?"

The treatments are not covered by the family's health insurance. To help the Avila family with Teresa's medical expenses, visit their GoFundMe page.

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