McDonald’s Teen Employee Hopped Through Drive-Thru Window to Save Customer Choking on a Chicken Nugget

McDonald’s Teen Employee Hopped Through Drive-Thru Window to Save Customer Choking on a Chicken Nugget

A one-hour class can save a life; that’s what 15-year old McDonald’s worker Sydney Raley learned when she instinctively deployed the Heimlich maneuver to save a choking customer.

Working at the Eden Prairie McDonalds south of Minneapolis for around seven months, the young woman clocked in on a Saturday shift expecting, as one might imagine, for everything to proceed as normal.

After handing one woman part of her order, Raley departed the drive-thru window, only to return moments later to explain the rest was on its way. That’s when she saw that the customer appeared to be choking.

“She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging.” Raley told CNN. “Her daughter was in the passenger seat and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew ‘Oh, no, she’s choking.’”

Raley straight away instructed her colleague to call 911, then leapt out of the drive-thru window to help the choking customer. Having taken a Red Cross babysitter first aid class, Raley used the Heimlich manuever with the aid of a bystander.

The nugget was dislodged, and the woman, though in shock, was deeply grateful. First responders arrived later only to find the situation was resolved.

“They said, ‘Congratulations you’re a lifesaver; you’re a hero.’” Sydney recounted. And gave her $100 from a fund they use for people who do good work in the community.

The teen’s parents also arrived at the scene, and seeing an ambulance and police cars, immediately became worried that something had happened to their daughter, who had suffered from some social difficulties as a result of an autism spectrum diagnosis at age 11.

“We are incredibly proud of Sydney and her quick, heroic actions over the weekend to help one of our valued customers.” owner-operator Paul Ostergaard said in a written statement. “Sydney truly personifies what it is to be a hero and we are incredibly lucky to have her as a highly-valued crew member at our Eden Prairie restaurant location.”

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