Becky Topping (20) was out having frozen yoghurt with a friend when she noticed the toddler in difficulty.
“We were only sat about two tables away. I could see his mother looking flustered and saying ‘No, no, no’.
"His face was purple, so I just took him off her and slapped his back,” she said.
Caiden McCaughey (2) had swallowed the chocolate sweet whole but, thanks to Becky’s quick-thinking, he threw it up.
Becky, who is a final-year nursing student at Queens University Belfast, says she is just glad she knew what to do.
“All I want out of this is for people to be aware of how important basic first aid skills are, which can be easily available through YouTube. It doesn't have to be through a course, just so they know what to do,” she told Independent.ie.
Natasha McCaughey, Caiden’s mother, hailed Becky as a “hero”.
“Words can’t describe how thankful I am for her saving my son’s life. You truly are an angel and I’ll be forever thankful. Caiden has made a full recovery and is still his cheeky self.
“I don't really know what to say other than I owe my life to her. She's a godsend and I can't bear to think what would have happened to my boy if she wasn't there,” she told Independent.ie.
Spoon Street, the ice-cream shop where the incident happened, responded by giving the Carrickfergus girl a gift card.
“We will all be very lucky to have you as a nurse when you qualify,” a spokesperson for Spoon Street said.