A South Carolina mailman became an unlikely hero after he discovered a situation that had gone terribly wrong, but he was there at the right time.
Stephanie Cooper’s baby son, Eli, was choking on a plastic wrapper that was lodged in his throat. “I turned around and started beating him on his back, but it wasn’t coming out,” said Cooper, according to KHSB.
Cooper, as she was in a frantic state, ran out the door and urgently sought out help. “I don’t even remember a whole lot of it because I just blacked out,” added Cooper.
— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) August 21, 2014
But outside her door was mail carrier, Chris Brown.
“The mailman didn’t even say a word. He just grabbed my son and did the Heimlich on him and out it came,” Cooper told the station.
“The baby started crying so I said, ‘He’s OK mom, he’s OK, he’s crying. He’s OK,'” Brown was quoted as saying.
Brown said he learned how to do the Heimlich maneuver during his military training many years ago.
“It was no coincidence that Chris was here at that exact time,” said Cooper.
In case you’ve forgotten what the Heimlich maneuver is, here’s a tutorial on how to do it:
According to NIH.gov, “The Heimlich maneuver can be used safely on both adults and children, but most experts do not recommend it for infants less than 1 year old. You can also perform the maneuver on yourself.”
And the Mayo Clinic has more:
“If choking is occurring, the Red Cross recommends a “five-and-five” approach to delivering first aid:
- Give 5 back blows. First, deliver five back blows between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.
- Give 5 abdominal thrusts. Perform five abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver).
- Alternate between 5 blows and 5 thrusts until the blockage is dislodged.
The American Heart Association doesn’t teach the back blow technique, only the abdominal thrust procedures. It’s OK not to use back blows, if you haven’t learned the technique. Both approaches are acceptable.
To perform abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) on someone else:
- Stand behind the person. Wrap your arms around the waist. Tip the person forward slightly.
- Make a fist with one hand. Position it slightly above the person’s navel.
- Grasp the fist with the other hand. Press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person up.
- Perform a total of 5 abdominal thrusts, if needed. If the blockage still isn’t dislodged, repeat the five-and-five cycle.”