A Pretoria waitress is being hailed a hero after jumping into action to save a child who was choking.
Pretoria, South Africa (24 March 2023) – On the 22nd of March 2023, at Wimpy Mayville Mall, Pretoria, Olga Fakude, a waitress on duty, saved the life of a child who started choking shortly after eating her breakfast.
Fakude, who has worked at Wimpy for the past six years, says she noticed the child choking on her food at a table she was serving.
Having done a first aid course a few years back, Fakude sprang into action. The waitress knew she had to act quickly to prevent a potentially life-threatening situation. She began doing abdominal thrusts, which enabled the child to cough up the lodged food. Within a few seconds, the child started breathing normally again – much to the relief of her parents.
The incredible hero said she was very happy she was able to help because she loves children. The child’s mother has expressed how grateful she is for the waitress reacting the way she did.
Portia Zulu, Store Manager, said that she is proud of Fakude’s heroic act and wishes to thank her for her amazing handling of the situation.
Here are the steps you should take if someone is choking on food:
- First, determine if the person is really choking. Signs of choking include difficulty speaking or breathing, clutching their throat, making high-pitched sounds, or turning red or blue in the face.
- If the person is indeed choking, ask them if they need help. If they are unable to speak or respond, assume that they need assistance.
- Immediately call for emergency medical services or ask someone nearby to call while you attend to the person.
- If the person is conscious and can cough, encourage them to keep coughing to try to dislodge the object. However, if they cannot cough, speak, or breathe, you will need to administer the Heimlich manoeuvre.
- To perform the Heimlich manoeuvre, stand behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and place it just above the person’s navel, thumb side in. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into the person’s abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Repeat until the object is dislodged or emergency medical services arrive.
- If the person becomes unconscious, lower them to the ground and begin CPR if you are trained to do so until emergency medical services arrive.
Remember, acting quickly is essential when someone is choking, so do not hesitate to call for help and administer the Heimlich manoeuvre.