Choking Man Turns Near-Black As Heart Stops. Girlfriend Grabs Knife to Save His Life


It was a split-second decision that would mean life or death, but to Sarah Glass, a midwife in New Zealand, the correct decision was obvious.

She could either watch her boyfriend die before her eyes, or try and save his life by grabbing a knife.

Glass, 45, was at a barbecue with her boyfriend, 50-year-old Izak Bester. Fun and laughter soon turned into a full-fledged emergency situation when Bester started choking on a piece of steak.

Friends tried the Heimlich maneuver to no avail, and Bester soon passed out. Glass administered CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it wasn’t enough.

“After about eight minutes we were no longer getting air into him,” Glass recalled. “The piece of steak had moved, so he was now turning a very nasty shade of purple and he was dying in front of us.”

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With that, Glass made the decision to give her boyfriend an emergency tracheotomy. “We had no choice — it was do that or he was dead,” the midwife explained.

Glass recalled a feeling of relief wash over her as she was handed a blade.

She made an incision underneath Bester’s Adam’s apple to open his windpipe, a procedure she had studied when she was in her 20’s.

Bester spent more than a week in the hospital recovering from his ordeal, but the father of two is expected to make a full recovery.

With a thankful, humble heart, he acknowledged the weighty risk his girlfriend took, both personally and professionally, to save his life.

“She’s definitely a hero,” Bester said of his girlfriend. “It’s pretty amazing, but if I died or been brain damaged she would have carried that for the rest of her life.”

But he understands full well what the alternative would have been had his girlfriend hesitated. “She said it was a no-brainer because I was dead already,” Bester expressed.

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Glass does not see herself as particularly heroic. She explained that if she hadn’t made the cut herself, somebody else would have.

Glass believes most people would react the same way if faced with a similarly frightening situation.

“I think anyone could do it if they’re looking at someone they care about and it’s the only thing that will keep them alive,” the midwife expressed.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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