Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 8:19 pm | Fair 55º


Sheriff’s Deputies Help Save Life of Toddler Found Choking on Chumash Reservation

Lah’nee Cota, 18 months, has made a full recovery after choking and becoming unresponsive Saturday on the Chumash reservation. (Courtesy photo)

Two Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies are credited with helping to save the life of an 18-month-old child on Saturday who was found choking on the Chumash reservation.

About 2 p.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to an unrelated call at a residence in the 100 block of Sanja Cota when a neighbor, Amber Cota, came running outside screaming for help holding her daughter, Lah’nee (Lah-nay) Cota.

The toddler was choking, unresponsive and purplish in color.

Sheriff’s deputies Brian Flick and Jorden Walker immediately took Lah’nee from her mother and began efforts to dislodge any items that may be blocking her airway. They conducted a series of “back blows” followed by the infant Heimlich maneuver (or sternum thrust) and then a finger sweep to ensure her airway was clear.

About 30 seconds later, the child was able to breathe on her own even though her breathing was labored. The deputies took Lah’nee inside the residence and stayed with her until personnel from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and American Medical Response arrived.

Lah’nee was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation and since then has made a full recovery. Today, her mother expressed appreciation for the efforts made to save Lah’nee’s life.

“We are incredibly grateful to the deputies for their actions," Cota said. "Every second mattered; this was a life or death situation. They did not hesitate and cared for her as if she was their own child. On behalf of the Cota family we thank them.”

In January, a new sheriff’s sub-station opened on the Chumash reservation allowing for not only faster response times on the reservation but for the entire Santa Ynez Valley as well.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >