‘They were like angels’: Family thanks first responders for saving young daughter’s life

LANSING, Ill. -- Three months ago, Elizabeth Avila’s life was turned upside down. Her 3-year-old daughter Teci choked on a grape and stopped breathing.

"She was without oxygen for 19 minutes," she said.

Teci was on life support for eight days, in the ICU for a month and was finally discharged from the hospital Wednesday.

"She has severe brain damage. They told me that she will never be the same little girl that she was before. I don’t believe that. I believe she will walk and talk again one day," Avila said.

Her mother says she’s made great progress, and gives all the credit to Lansing first responders.

"They worked on her so well. They were like angels hovering over her and they didn’t let her go, they didn’t let her go," she said.

Three month after the accident, the Avila family formally thanked the first responders who saved little Teci's life.

Lansing Police Officer Kevin LaPointe was the first on the scene: "It was probably one of the most traumatic calls I've had."

He says he was just doing his job.

"You look at that child, when you get to the scene it's like it’s your child, you’re doing everything you can to try and save that child and you think about her as if she’s one of your own," he said.

"They’re our heroes, they really are," Avila said.

The Avilas are taking Teci to New Orleans Friday for a two-month hyperbaric oxygen treatment. It has not been approved by the FDA so will be costly. They set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for the treatments.