BIRMINGHAM, England – A seven-year-old British girl choked to death in a "chance in a million" accident after a small rubber ball bounced into her mouth, lodging in her throat.
Kiran Mir, from Birmingham, central England, was playing with a cheap rubber ball her mother, Shakeela Bibi, had bought her, the Birmingham Mail reported Friday.
"She was bouncing the ball between her hand and the floor. I suddenly heard Kiran cough and immediately looked towards her," Bibi said in a statement read out Thursday at a coroner's investigation into the March 1 death. "I immediately approached her and used one hand to smack her gently two or three times between her shoulder blades hoping for the ball to pop out."
However, the girl's lips started to turn blue and she struggled to breathe, then tried to vomit.
Bibi, 34, called her husband, Shahid Mir, 45, at his workplace and he told a colleague to call for an ambulance while he rushed home.
By the time the ambulance reached the hospital Kiran's heart had been stopped for 29 minutes and she had suffered brain damage so severe she would never recover.
Mir said the death of his "cheerful" daughter had "killed all my happiness" and that he, his wife and Kiran's three young siblings had all been left devastated.
Birmingham Coroner Aidan Cotter said, "I cannot believe there is not a single parent who has not had to fish something out of a child's mouth. It was a completely freak accident ... I am satisfied this was an unhappy chance in a million where the ball just bounced straight into her mouth."