A GRATEFUL Hervey Bay mum says a quick-thinking stranger is to thank for saving the life of her little boy this week.
On Monday, three-year-old Ashton Dice was enjoying a barbecue lunch with his mum, Amber, and grandparents when he started to choke on a sausage.
His distressed family did all they could while an ambulance was called.
By the time his grandma ran out the front desperately trying to flag down anyone who could help, Ashton had already collapsed and was unable to breathe.
Luckily, a complete stranger came to the rescue.
Nathaniel Ash and his friends were driving past the home when they saw the woman waving from her lawn.
The young miner knew immediately that something was wrong and ran into the home to help.
He found the boy on the ground in the backyard, turned him on his side and tilted his head back.
Ashton was taken to the Hervey Bay Hospital for observation but yesterday was all smiles and ready for his next adventure.
His family tracked down Nathaniel and took him out for a celebration lunch.
"I am unbelievably grateful," Ms Dice said.
"I can't thank him enough - he saved his life."
While Nathaniel was thrilled to have been able to help he said he was simply using skills he learned during CPR and first aid training - skills Ms Dice intends to learn and hopes other mums will follow suit.
"It was really brought home to me how important first aid training is," Ms Dice said.
"The nurses said all mums should know what to do and I'm glad I didn't learn the hard way - it could have been much worse."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.