NEWCASTLE (CBS13) – The class took just a few hours, but a Newcastle father will spend the rest of his life grateful for the life-saving lesson.

“(Her throat was) just so constricted and inflamed that she couldn’t get any air through,” said mom Kirsten.

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When his daughter stopped breathing, Shawn Sanchez used what he’d learned in a CPR class more than a year ago.

Nine-month-old Kinley Sanchez has been battling bronchitis since Christmas. When her breathing problems wouldn’t ease up, Kinely’s mom Kirsten had enough. But as Kirsten was rushing out the door to yet another doctor’s visit, Kinley’s health took a sudden and sharp turn for the worse.

“She was having a really hard time breathing and she finally just stopped breathing, and I was screaming for Shawn,” said Kirsten. “She turned completely limp and she was completely pale. Her lips were purple.”

That moment of terror forced Shawn into rescue mode.

“I had to do something and that was the only thing I could think of, and luckily it worked,” he said.

With his adrenaline kicking in, Shawn reverted back to a CPR class he took a year and a half ago.

“Doing two breaths, then three compressions, then two breaths,” said Shawn.

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It was a class he never thought he’d need — one he took on a whim.

“It was just a CPR class for infants and toddlers,” said Shawn.

It worked, and Kinley was able to get her breath back.

“As soon as she started whimpering, I just told my wife to get in the car and we raced to the fire station,” said Shawn.

Newcastle firefighters gave Kinley some oxygen, and then an ambulance took them to the ICU. Doctors diagnosed Kinley with asthma. So now she will receive treatments for inflamed airways.

But Kinley is alive and will undoubtedly — one day — speak the words “thank you” to dad, who’s earned the right to be called her hero.

“She might not be here if it weren’t for him,” said Kirsten.

To learn these lifesaving skills, it’ll just take a few hours. You can find a class by looking up your local Red Cross office.

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Kirsten says she is about to take a CPR class and so will all her friends and family, who often babysit.