Red Cross first aid instructor saves daughter from choking

If you have ever taken a Red Cross CPR class, you know that one thing we cover in the classes is choking emergencies.

I recently heard a story that illustrates the importance of taking a CPR class. Patrick Quinn, a Red Cross first aid instructor in Toronto, teaches people how to save lives every day. But, last December, he put his knowledge and skills to the test when he had to perform abdominal thrusts on his choking daughter.

Yes, you read that right: His daughter.

Patrick and his family were at a fast food restaurant enjoying a meal. His daughter Sydney, who was then 4 years-old, was munching on French fries while horsing around with her older brother Noah. Patrick told them to stop, but they didn’t listen. One of the fries got lodged in Sydney’s throat and she began to choke. Patrick, knowing what to do, encouraged her to cough it up. But, when the fry got further lodged and blocked her airway, he then had to perform abdominal thrusts on Sydney.

Stats show that if you have to perform first aid, it will most likely be on a loved one. I am not a parent, and could only imagine how scary this must have been. He told me all he could think about in the moment was: “Please cough it up, or your mom will kill me!”

Fortunately, after what were the longest minutes of his life, Patrick was able to dislodge the French fry and save Sydney. And strangely enough, 14 year-old Noah had accompanied Patrick to one of his first aid courses in the morning. A few hours later, Noah got to see the skills live in action!

Way to go Patrick!

Do you think you know your first aid skills? Try this first aid quiz.

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