A Tennessee mother is warning others about the dangers of balloons after her 7-year-old daughter died earlier this month, according to the mom’s social media post.
In a Facebook post by Channa Kelly on Sunday, the grieving mother explained that she bought a large rainbow number 7 balloon inflated with helium and “approximately 10 Roblox themed latex balloons” for her 7-year-old daughter Alexandra Kelly’s birthday on Sept. 24.
Kelly said she sat as her daughter popped her latex balloons a week later on Oct. 1, but when she left the room “unaware of any dangers with [the non-latex] balloon,” she returned to find her daughter face down on the living room floor.
“As a parent I was always aware of the choking hazard of latex balloons, but never imagined that there was such a risk regarding these very large” balloons, Kelly said in her post, adding, “I thought for a second that she fell asleep but then noticed [that the] balloon was around her head. I quickly removed the balloon, called 911 and began CPR right away. I asked the 911 operators to remind me of the steps of CPR because it had been so long since my last certification and I didn’t want to mess up.”
When police and first responders arrived, they took over CPR, but their attempts to revive her were unsuccessful, according to the mom.
“On Sunday October 1st my entire world collapsed around me all because I was unaware of the risk surrounding these types of balloons. It is unknown whether she passed away from helium poisoning or suffocation. We are currently awaiting the preliminary results for the final determination of her cause of death. I was told that this could take up to 4 to 6 months,” Kelly wrote.
Clinton Police told WVLT that the incident is being investigated and that the cause of de*ath has not yet been determined.
In her obituary, Alexandra is described as “a loving and kindhearted little girl” who “loved to sing and dance and make her mama laugh.” Kelly wrote in her Facebook post that Alexandra “made all [her] dreams come true,” adding, “She was full of curiosity and had to ask questions about everything… She was an excellent conversationalist and amazed me with her ability to understand and express herself. She put a smile on everyone’s face and brought so much joy and laughter into my life.”
Kelly’s sister-in-law, Kristi Tucker, set up a GoFundMe page, which raised over $12,000 “in hopes of covering her funeral costs and helping her Momma during this difficult time.” PEOPLE has reached out to Tucker for comment.
Kelly said she hopes that sharing her daughter’s story will bring more awareness to the dangers of balloons of all types. “I hope and pray that this will prevent and save the life of other children,” the grieving mother wrote. “I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience the pain and devastation that the loss of a child brings.”
“That’s what took my baby, it was her birthday balloon,” Kelly said