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PERTH, Australia (CNN) — An Australian builder has been hailed a hero for saving the life of a toddler when she stopped breathing in a supermarket.
CCTV showed the events unfold in Perth, Western Australia, as Amy Collard realized her two-year-old daughter Shaylar was not breathing.
Collard approached a checkout lane to ask other customers, including local tradesman Rowan O’Neill, for help before rushing outside to get her husband.
“I thought I was dealing with a full-out dead child,” O’Neill said. “We all thought she was dead.”
O’Neill examined the girl, thinking she was choking. As staff called for help, Shaylar’s father Michael Narkle rushed into the store in a panic. O’Neill and Narkle tried to reviving Shaylar by shaking her, patting her on the back and employing the Heimlich maneuver.
After trying to revive her without success, O’Neill began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“It was just all what you remember in school,” O’Neill said. “You take the one-day course when you’re a kid, and bits just stick there.”
After 90 seconds the girl opened her eyes, local media said. The first thing that crossed O’Neill’s mind was “relief.”
“But at the same time I was still a bit scared, because we weren’t fully out of the woods yet,” O’Neill said.
That moment came later when local TV stations said doctors thought Shaylar’s fever caused her to pass out. She suffered no injuries and was back at home after one night in hospital.
When those same local TV stations declared O’Neill a hero, he shrugged the declaration off.
“I don’t think I’m a hero,” he said. “It’s just a situation, and that’s what happened. It could have gone either way, but it’s great it went the way it did.”