A heart-broken father has paid tribute to his toddler who died after she ‘choked on a jelly cube’ at a nursery.
An investigation was launched after 22-month-old Tiya Chauhan was found not breathing on the floor of the Dicky Birds Nursery in Dundonald Road, Wimbledon.
Paramedics removed a jelly-like substance from the youngster’s throat before rushing her to St George’s Hospital in Tooting where she died the next day, coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox heard at an inquest into her death.
The inquest opened today, Monday, July 7, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Smartly dressed Dipa Chauhan, Tiya’s father, was overcome with emotion as he took to the witness stand.
He described how he had dropped his little girl at the nursery as usual at 8.15am on Wednesday, August 23, 2012 and then went to work.
By 9.48am nursery staff were desperately trying to give the girl first aid after she was found on the floor of the nursery not breathing.
The room where she was found had been opened for activities for the children after a morning play session outside.
Speaking about the day he took her to nursery, Mr Chauhan, of Graham Road, Wimbledon, said: "She was well, she was smiling, she was quite happy.
"Everything was fine."
The jury were shown a photograph of dark-haired Tiya playing in the garden of her home three or four weeks before her death.
Overcome with emotion, Mr Chauhan said: "She was a strong character, she was only 22 months but she had found a personality.
"She would pull her brother off her toys and push him away.
"She was bubbly and loved by everyone."
Detective Sergeant Gary Pankhurst of the Metropolitan Police told Dr Wilcox at the hearing he was called to investigate after an initial investigation was carried out by Wimbledon police.
Dr Wilcox said: "It is my understanding Tiya was found collapsed on the floor not breathing."
D Sgt Pankhurst said: "Yes.
"There were attempts made by members of staff to provide first aid and a 999 call was made."
D Sgt Pankhurst said there were 11 members of staff on duty on the day, who were looking after 30 children aged under two years to four-years-old.
The inquest is expected to last two weeks and the jury will hear from a number of different witnesses.