Nicky Walla was a happy mother who had recently given birth to twins. And along with her eldest son, Gavin, whom she shares with husband Nate, the perfect family seemed to have been attained, and things were going pretty well for their family. But one morning would change everything.
The married couple from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin loved documenting their children's growth- as most do- and often recorded their twins doing the cutest things, and one such recording showed one twin lovingly feed cereal to the other in the living room. But things soon turned nasty.
Eating Rice Krispies from their walker trays, the video took a turn for the worst once Nicky was alerted to the sound of a beeping phone.
Turning around, Nicky inadvertently turned the camera away from the twins and into the direction of her eldest son, Gavin, which was when the horror kicked in.
Screaming his name after seeing him motionless in the corner of the room with nothing but dangled strings around his neck; most would be forgiven for thinking he was already dead.
Appearing stagnant by the window, it seemed Gavin had been playing with the window blind's cords, leading his mother to exclaim, "He's choked himself, he's blue."
Gavin's father soon arrived on the scene as Nicky sought answers as she spoke to a 911 operator, but in less than a minute, the married couple and parents appeared to have been handed a lifeline.
Crying after his mother released the cords from his neck, little Gavin could finally breathe again, and though the crying initially sounded distressing, it was a sign that he was okay, as the operator informed, and aside from burst blood vessels in his eyes- a natural occurrence when choked- and a cord mark around his neck, Gavid escaped the incident relatively unharmed
It was certainly a close shave, and 11 years on from the incident, the family, which has continued to grow since the incident, has decided to release said footage in a bid to raise awareness about the dangers of window blind cords.
In American alone, it is estimated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that over 100 children have died from blind cords since Gavin's near-death experience, and the Walla family argue that that number is only likely to increase if something isn't done.
While the major blind companies in America dismiss the number, many have settled lawsuits with parents whose children have been killed or injured by the careless designs due to the cords being unnecessarily long.
Explaining why to ABC News, top injury lawyer James Onder said, "The documents, the testimonies, are too condemning. I don't think a manufacturer can afford to go to trial."
However, ABC reported that other parents haven't been as lucky as the Wallas. Linda Kaiser, who lost her daughter to a window blind cord, has since founded the Parents for Window Blind Safety charity, after initially being accessed of killing her child.
Speaking about the issue, Elliot Kaye, Chairman of the U.S. Safety Product Commission has made the introduction of cordless blinds his priority, and so far retailers like Ikea and Target have banned blinds with cords from their shelves in favour of cordless ones.
Returning to the Wallas, it's great that Gavin survived the ordeal, but the video certainly served as a reminder that more needs to be done by governments and big business to help support people like Kaye in eradicating blind cords altogether.
In the words of Gavin himself, the now 18-year-old believed the release of the video was a good thing. "I'm glad it's out there," he said. "It saved the lives of other children that have been fortunate enough to have parents who have seen the video."