A lot of parents make a special effort to spend one-on-one time with their kids doing fun activities and bonding. It can be a great time for all and can create memories that will last a lifetime.
For one father and son, what started out as a fun lunch outing, turned into something frightening that could have resulted in tragedy.
The story began with a simple social media post Todd Hendricks made announcing the outing to Buffalo Wild Wings with his son.
Todd and 6-year-old Anthony were eating chicken wings and watching a football game when suddenly Todd realized he was in trouble, reported Inside Edition.
The bite he had taken went down the wrong pipe and his effort to correct the problem didn’t fix it.
Todd recounted his panic, “I reached out for my drink and I swallowed again and I was like, ‘That is not good.’ You can’t breathe, real fast. It is scary, you are looking at your kid, you are choking, you are blacking out.”
Anthony didn’t seem to know what was happening and kept eating his meal, but a dad out with his own son, at a nearby table, did notice something was wrong.
Off-duty New Jersey State Trooper Dennis Palaia assessed the situation and sprang into action.
He administered the Heimlich maneuver “as soon as I heard the pound on the table, I heard the silverware shake and I turned around and looked back and saw that he was turning red.”
According to CBS 2, Palaia was assisted in his efforts to help Todd by Buffalo Wild Wings assistant manager K.D. Murphy.
“I spoke with him in a calm voice and said ‘All right, sir — just keep breathing through your nose, we want to get this out of you as fast as we can.’ I told him if you keep breathing it gives us the opportunity to save your life,” Murphy said.
The restaurant honored the hero cop by offering him a year’s worth of free chicken wings. Even though Palaia has “regularly trained” in the Heimlich maneuver, this was the first time he actually had to use it.
Todd and Palaia were later reunited and Todd shared the story, along with an update, on Facebook. He noted that Anthony was doing well in the aftermath, too.
The Mayo Clinic’s website states that it is possible to administer the Heimlich maneuver to yourself if help is not available.
After calling 911, if possible, the Heimlich can be self-administered with back blows or abdominal thrusts.
Several weeks after the chicken wing situation occurred, Todd and Anthony returned to Buffalo Wild Wings. Todd joked on Facebook that this time he’d skip the wings and just have a salad.
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