This Helped Me Save a Life

 

Yesterday I was in a restaurant when my friend noticed a woman coughing in a strange way. The woman looked like she was struggling so I got up and asked her if she was ok. She shook her head “No.” I asked, “Do you need help?” She made a sign that let me know she was choking.

 

Without thinking I quickly moved into action and did the Heimlich Maneuver. It took a few thrusts and then the food was dislodged. Time seemed to slow down as I was unsure if it was going to work.

 

I have never done the Heimlich before. Although I have take CPR training multiple times, it was always to fulfill job requirements. It was great to have the knowledge, however I secretly hoped I would never have to use it.

 

I always assumed if I was in a situation where someone was in a life threatening situation, that someone else more capable than I was would be around to take care of it. I know this sounds super wimpy of me but it’s true. I never imagined myself taking the lead.

 

When I saw this woman choking I had no thoughts of relying on anyone else. Even though I wasn’t fully confident it would work, the powerful part of me took over and did what I needed to do to save her life.

 

After the food was dislodged she thanked me many times and we hugged. I felt an instant connection to her.

 

As I sat back down with my friend I couldn’t stop shaking. I was amazed at what had just happened. I felt so happy, proud, and relieved at the same time.

 

Later a man who was eating at the restaurant came over and thanked me for taking action. He said he didn’t know what to do and he was amazed to see me take control of the situation. He told me I was his hero and gave me a huge chocolate chip cookie. I was flattered and still shocked that it was actually me who saved her.

 

Again I reflected on what had just happened. Watching this woman going from choking to perfectly fine in such a short time reminded me how our bodies can be so vulnerable and yet resilient at the same time. The Heimlich Maneuver is such a simple yet super powerful tool. Without knowledge of it, many more people could choke to death.

 

I wanted to share this story because now I know for sure how important it is to know the Heimlich and CPR. These are life saving skills. If you haven’t taken a class lately, please do. You never know when you will be the one who can make the difference in someone’s life.

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