A New Zealand woman sliced her boyfriend’s throat open with a Stanley knife after he started choking on a chunk of steak–saving his life.
Sarah Glass, a midwife, had to make a split-second decision with potentially far-reaching implications for both her and her boyfriend Izak Bester, Stuff reported.
“She’s definitely a hero – it’s pretty amazing but if I died or been brain damaged she would have carried that for the rest of her life,” Bester said, the news service reported.
According to the Sun, Glass was at a barbecue with Bester last month on New Zealand’s North Island when he suddenly began gasping for air after a piece of meat became lodged in his throat.
The Heimlich maneuver failed to clear the man’s airway. He reportedly lost consciousness and became “completely purple.”
Glass performed mouth-to-mouth on Bester, Stuff reported, but then the piece of meat shifted and prevented any oxygen from reaching his lungs.
The woman told the Daily Mail “He was now turning a very nasty shade of purple and he was dying in front of us.”
Then Glass recalled that she learned how to do a tracheotomy when in her 20s and got someone to pass her a sharp object.
“I can’t get air in him – I’m going to have to cut him,” she reportedly told her companions.
Someone then handed her a Stanley knife, which she used to make an incision underneath Bester’s Adam’s apple. Glass then apparently jammed a syringe from a home-birthing kit into her partner’s neck to keep the air passage open.
It is reported the woman had an oxygen tank in her kit, which she hooked up and used to provide Bester with much-needed air.
Paramedics arrived about 20 minutes later and arranged for the victim to be airlifted to hospital.
According to the Sun, doctors later said that if not for the emergency tracheotomy, Bester would likely have suffered organ failure or brain damage.
“We had no choice–it was do that or he was dead,” Glass told the Sun reporters.
The crematorium and cemetery manager has reportedly since made a full recovery.