An Indiana policeman eating lunch Friday during his first day as a full-time, paid officer had no idea he was about to get his first opportunity to save a life.
Hobart Police Officer Richard Mayer was dining with several of his colleagues at a local Chick-Fil-A restaurant when they were approached by a concerned mother.
Melanie Hasse’s young daughter — Charlotte — had started choking, and the mom needed help.
“I looked over and she started gagging. I could see something kind of in the back of her throat, and so mistakenly I reached in to try to grab it out, and I think that pushed it back into her throat,” Hasse told WLS.
Mayer did not hesitate to help.
“I grabbed her and Officer Ramos to my right flipped her over, we did back slaps on her and got the food dislodged from her throat right away,” the police officer said.
The culprit turned out to be a small piece of an apple that had gotten stuck in Charlotte’s throat.
Mayer noted that he and his fellow officers were “caught off guard” when the panicked mom “came running over” with her child, who was “purple in the face.”
Still, all they had to do was think of how they would have responded if it had been their own duaghter choking.
“All three of the officers sitting there had a daughter,” Mayer said. “All of us looked back after it and said, ‘Hey, what if that was our daughter?’”
For her part, Hasse is extremely grateful to the police officer who helped save her daughter’s life.
“This is what he was meant to do,” Hasse said. “To save lives in some kind of way.”
According to WHAS, Mayer did just what he should have done given the circumstances.
Doctors suggest that infants under the age of 1 should not have the Heimlich maneuver performed on them.
Instead, as pointed out by WebMD, choking toddlers should be turned over and receive five slaps on the back, between the shoulder blades.
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