Window blind caused my Sophia's death within seconds
HEARTBROKEN mum Amanda O'Halloran has spoken of her anguish at finding her 17-month old daughter Sophia dead after she got strangled by the cord of a window blind.
The toddler was playing at the family home, in Tirley, when she got her neck caught inside the beaded loop and fell over, hanging herself.
It took just seconds for her to die.
Amanda had nipped upstairs to go to the toilet and was gone for no more than four minutes.
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When she came back down she discovered her daughter's body. Despite frantic attempts to revive her, nothing could be done.
Now Amanda and her partner Chris Parslow are bravely speaking out about their ordeal as they launch a campaign called Sophia's Cause to get looped blind cords banned across the UK to prevent other toddlers dying in the same way.
Speaking to the Echo, Amanda held back tears as she recalled the awful moment she realised something was wrong.
"Sophia was watching Peppa Pig on TV which was her favourite," said the 22-year-old. "I went upstairs to go to the toilet and then went to grab some clothes for her to wear.
"When I came downstairs I couldn't see her at first and I immediately grew worried.
"Then I saw her there hanging on the blind cord.
"I was hysterical.
"I ran to her, grabbed her and started doing CPR. I was totally frantic.
"I had trained to do first aid but never thought I'd be doing it on my own daughter.
"I called the emergency number and the paramedics came by air ambulance. They took her to hospital.
"But there was nothing they could do. It was horrible. Only moments before she had been a happy, healthy child – so cheeky and full of life. And then she was dead, just like that."
Sophia died on the morning of June 27.
In the short space of time she was in the living room on her own she had put her head in the noose of the cord, slipped over and cut off her air supply.
It would have taken as little as seven seconds for her to lose consciousness.
The blind cord had been in the house since she and Chris moved in 18 months earlier. Hidden behind the curtain, it had gone unnoticed.
Amanda added: "Sophia was so inquisitive, looking to grab hold of things all the time.
"I have gone over it in my head over and over again – all the what ifs. What if we'd got rid of the cord? What if I had come downstairs sooner?"
Amanda and Chris are still struggling to come to terms with Sophia's untimely death, with the feelings of grief still raw. There are reminders of their loss everywhere, with Sophia's toys and pictures of her smiling face all over the house.
But they are determined that no parents should go through the pain they are experiencing. Through Sophia's Cause they are campaigning to have cord blinds banned in the UK.
"It's still very hard for us but I know that nothing will bring her back," she added. If one good thing could come out of this, it would be that other parents realise the dangers of cord blinds and get rid of them from their homes. It would make us happy if other children are saved because of Sophia."
An inquest into Sophia's death will take place on November 14.