This was an incredible wedding moment the couple will remember for the rest of their lives. The groom, a firefighter, wasn’t anticipating that he would be called into action on his big day. But, unexpectedly, he became a “first responder” at his reception dinner.
During the wedding reception of Cody and Kelly Campbell at the Dove Canyon Golf Club in California, a guest made a heartfelt speech that turned true moments later.
“If I’m ever in a position where I need a fireman to help me,” said the guest, “I hope it’s you, or I hope it’s someone like you.”
A short while later, when Cody’s father, Craig Campbell, a retired captain with the Orange County Fire Authority and best man of the wedding, was making his speech about how proud he was of his son to become a firefighter, someone shouted, “She’s choking.”
“I heard a couple people yell, ‘My God, she’s choking,’” Craig told KABC-TV. And she had “a complete airway obstruction.”
Cody, a trained firefighter in Los Angeles, immediately sprang out of his table, and jumped into action to rescue the choking lady—a 60-year-old relative of Kelly.
After months of paramedic training, rushing to help is his “second nature,” said Cody, in an interview with The Orange County Register. He ran to the woman, who had choked on some steak. Drawing on his experience during the training, Cody performed the Heimlich maneuver on the woman, and “about five or six thrusts, a piece of meat became dislodged from her throat.”
Thankfully, the woman began to breathe normally again.
“Once the steak was out, I turned around and 200 people were staring back at me,” recalled Cody. The whole episode was “surreal” for the rookie fireman.
The woman thanked the quick-thinking Cody, and resumed finishing her steak, according to BuzzFeed.
The guests were stunned, while some of them thought the rescue might be an act to spice up the wedding.
“Some people in the back who couldn’t see this far ahead truly thought it might have been staged,” Kelly said. “But I assure you I am not an actress. That was not faking it.”
Despite the brief moment of panic, this heroic rescue made the big day even more memorable.
“Saving someone’s life right in front of me on my wedding day and right in front of his son, that’s something that we’ll have forever,” Kelly said. “It’s so special.”