MEMPHIS Tenn. — A Memphis mother is holding her baby girl a little tighter after she nearly choked to death, and she credits a special device for saving her life.

It was all kisses and smiles inside of the Owen residence, a stark difference from days earlier. Emotions were triggered for Elizabeth Owen after her 10-month-old daughter choked while eating crackers.

“Her face turned completely red. She started coughing. The scariest part for me was when I put my finger in her mouth, trying to get it, I could feel the goldfish but I couldn’t get my finger behind it,” she said.

This prompted the mother to pull out a device called a Life Vac, which is a portable suction that can clear an upper airway in minutes.

“You can’t guarantee your finger, you can’t guarantee the heimlich, but I absolutely feel you can guarantee this. It popped it right out her mouth,” Owen said.

Data from Life Vac suggest their device has been responsible for saving nearly 700 lives and that at least one child dies every five days from choking. It’s a reality that has Owen speaking out about the importance of preparedness after experiencing a scare with her little girl.

“You can’t put a price on a life and if you can have a device that actually saves your child’s life, why not,” Owen said.

As far as the child’s condition, her mother told WREG she is expected to make a full recovery.