Heartbroken mum's warning after baby boy dies choking on a balloon: 'Whole world got taken away'

Picture: GoFundMe
Picture: GoFundMe 

A mum who lost her baby after he choked on a balloon is warning others of the dangers. 

Ashleigh Chapman, 19, lost her 11-month-old son Heath on April 8, after the little boy ingested a partially deflated balloon in their home on the NSW South Coast.

As the devastated mum told News.com.au, it seemed to happen instantly. While she didn't initially worry when she heard Heath cough from the next room, moments later he was unconscious.

"It was just a normal cough at first and I didn't think anything of it then a few moments later I heard another sound and it wasn't so much of a cough but a struggling noise and that's when I quickly ran out to him," she told the site.

"Before I called triple-0, I put my fingers in his mouth to see if there was anything in there but I couldn't feel anything," she said.

"I just didn't believe it. My whole world got taken away from me."

While paramedics arrived almost immediately, working on the little boy before airlifting him to hospital, he could not be saved. 

"My world got taken away from me within minutes, how am I suppose to keep living without my baby?," she told Daily Mail Australia

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"I didn't know how quickly it could happen and once a balloon is inhaled it's nearly impossible to remove it from someone's windpipe without surgery."

In a Facebook post, the heartbroken mum has vowed to 'keep fighting' until the dangers are better known. And is advocating for warning labels to be put on balloon packets. 

"After I got told the news about the balloon I done some research and was shocked to find out this is such a common thing and nothing major has been done to create awareness about it," she wrote. "I will stand and raise awareness for this."

In a crowdfunding page set up for Ashleigh and her partner Jesse McLean, her family said they have 'no words to describe' the grief they are experiencing. 

"Heath loves his Mummy and Daddy endlessly as do they to him, He was always smiling and giggling. All who had the honour of meeting him would say a little ray of sunshine. Such a beautiful, bright, bubbly, cheeky and funny little man," the page reads.

"To Jesse and Ashleigh, the pain and the disappointment is great and their loss will be carried heavily in their hearts for all their days."