If someone suddenly began choking in your presence, would you know what to do? It’s not necessarily a question we stop to consider often.
Yet choking represents a real and ever-present hazard. In their newsletter “Injury Facts 2017,” the National Safety Council notes that choking is actually the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury and death.
And it’s an especially worrisome danger for youngsters. Science Daily quotes a Nationwide Children’s Hospital statistic that declares choking a chief cause of death among children under the age of four.
No wonder Joe Webken is being hailed as an absolute hero.
Webken resides in Fort Jennings, Ohio. He’s employed as a service technician with Ohio-based Findlay Implement Company, part of FIC Dealerships.
Recently, Webken was presented with the organization’s Lifesaving Award for his caring actions and quick thinking. It’s not every day someone saves a baby’s life, after all.
According to the online recognition page set up by FIC Dealerships, Webken was recently preparing to take a nap at home when an alarming incident occurred. He heard a woman’s panicked screams coming from somewhere outside.
When Webken glanced out his window, he saw a lady sprint frantically into a neighboring house. He instantly grabbed his coat and hurried over to see what might have happened.
He rushed into the residence and saw the lady on her cell phone. Glancing down, he also saw a struggling infant on the sofa.
Webken quickly checked with the woman and realized the tot was rapidly turning blue from choking. That’s when he knew he had only seconds to act.
So Webken immediately picked up the baby and turned him on his side. Then he began patting the child’s back, hoping to dislodge whatever was restricting airflow.
Simultaneously, Webken contacted emergency responders on his own cell phone. He wasn’t seeing this wee one come around, and was just about to begin CPR.
But then, in a single miraculous instant, the baby took a breath on his own.
Webken has since spoken with the infant’s grandparents, who reside in the home where this rescue occurred. He learned that the woman is their daughter, and she’d stopped to change her child’s diaper.
He also learned that the baby, a preemie at birth, had undergone double hernia surgery earlier that same week. The child had been struggling with a few respiratory issues, and the family believes he was choking on his own vomit.
The Courier, a local news source in Findlay, Ohio, reports that Webken is eventually hoping to meet the young man he saved under happier circumstances.
But for now, this good Samaritan is being applauded by his co-workers and an admiring social media audience. FIC Dealerships is hailing Webken as a “quiet yet very caring employee” and “a hero among us.”
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