Most of us need that morning cup of coffee to get us going, which often involves a quick stop at the drive-thru. But what was part of Lori Mayle’s morning routine took an unexpected turn.
As Mayle, a program director for Air Evac Lifeteam, was taking a phone call from a colleague, she abruptly ended it when she noticed something going on in the car in front of her.
“As I was sitting in the drive-thru line, I saw the driver in the car in front of me attempting to crawl over the seat to the back seat of the car,” Mayle recalls. “I immediately knew something was wrong.”
Mayle then got out of her car, squeezing herself past the door to get through the narrow space. As she approached the passenger side of the vehicle in front of her, she saw a child in the rear seat, appearing to be choking.
She then attempted to open the door, but the door was locked. The driver, who could see that Mayles was trying to gain access to help, unlocked the door. Mayles was then able to get to the child and, with the driver’s help, got the child out of the car. She then proceeded to do the Heimlich maneuver to clear the child’s airway. After a few abdominal thrusts, the child began coughing and spit up a mouthful of chocolate.
“I continued to encourage the child to cough to clear the airway thoroughly until I was sure the obstruction was gone,” Mayle explains. “The child had been eating candy and suffered a complete airway obstruction.”
Once Mayle made sure everything was OK, she proceeded to get her coffee as if nothing happened. So, after receiving a little hug from the child and a “thank you” from a grateful grandmother, Mayle went on her way.
Just another day in the life of an Air Evac nurse? Maybe. But for that child and her grandmother, there was nothing ordinary about that experience. They received extraordinary care and all at a moment’s notice.