Hero Father Saves His Choking 8-Month-Old Daughter After Remembering Lifeguard Training Tips From 20 Years Ago

“Sheer panic kicked in,” Ryan Diroma’s wife tells Inside Edition. “I screamed ‘Ryan, she’s choking’ and he just knew what to do.”

An Arizona dad was shooting hoops in his backyard when suddenly his relaxing evening turned into a family emergency.

Ryan Diroma dropped everything when his wife ran outside to tell him that their 8-month-old baby was choking.

As he rushed into the home, he found his daughter, Blake, choking in his wife’s arms.

“Sheer panic kicked in,” Diroma’s wife tells Inside Edition. “I screamed ‘Ryan she’s choking’ and he just knew what to do.”

Diroma took action and hit his daughter three times, heard her cry, and a carrot came flying out of her mouth.

“I was like thank God,” Diroma tells Inside Edition. “But then I felt bad about how hard I hit her.”

Diroma knew what to do because of a part-time job he worked when he was a teenager.

Around 20 years ago Diroma worked as a lifeguard at his local waterpark. He says he remembered seeing a picture of a baby having to be held at a downward angle if they are choking.

“I haven’t thought about it since, but there was a picture of someone holding a baby facing downwards and all I remember is like you have to hit the baby harder than you think,” Diroma says.

This is absolutely correct, according to experts.

Babies must be hit forcefully up to five times when they are choking, Frontline Health President Shane Woodall tells Inside Edition. 

“If we don’t hit hard enough, we’ll struggle to get the object out,” Woodwall says. “It’s more important in this moment to get the object out right away.”

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