QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- Kennadee Riggs sits at the piano playing a Christmas song. You only have to hear a few notes to know the lessons are paying off.
Kennadee is only 11, but she thinks big.
“I think kids are capable of lots of things. Kids of all ages,” she said, "So don't underestimate the abilities of a child.”
Kennadee doesn't just talk the talk. She walks the walk.
She recently spent seven hours taking the Safe Babysitters' class at Banner Desert so that she could babysit for kids in her Queen Creek neighborhood. As it turns out, that training saved her brother's life.
Kennadee explained what happened the night her brother, Quinn, started choking.
“It was me, my dad and my siblings and we were all in the kitchen area.”
The 11-year-old noticed her brother wasn't making any noise and when she looked closer, she says he appeared to be turning blue.
“So I put my finger under his nose. He wasn't breathing,” Kennadee explains.
Then she raises her hands and demonstrates the Heimlich maneuver. “I went like this two times and out popped a big gobstopper.”
The scary thing about all of this is that the baby started choking while the whole family was in the room.
His 5-year-old sister had given him the candy and the 1-year-old popped it in his mouth without anyone noticing.
Kennadee's mom, Shanda, says that's what really hit her the hardest.
“As a mom I'm thinking I'm right there by the child, everything is OK," she said. "But if my attention is not on the child it may not be OK.”
She credits her daughter's quick thinking with saving Quinn's life.
“It really is our Christmas miracle,” Shanda said.
Carey Peña and Kennadee Riggs