Baldwin Diner waitress saves young choking victim
A Baldwin Diner waitress put her first-aid training into practice recently when she came to the rescue of a young girl choking on a piece of meat.
“It is one of those experiences you don’t think is ever going to happen to you,” Baldwin City Diner waitress Lisa Schultz said.
Seven-year-old Reece Baker was choking on a piece of steak at the diner when Schultz gave her the Heimlich maneuver and saved the girl’s life.
Reece and her mother, Amy Baker, are residents of Leavenworth and were in Baldwin City for Reece’s sister’s high school tennis match.
According to Baker, her daughter had ordered a steak cooked rare. Baker had cut a couple of pieces for Reece. Not long after she began eating it, she started choking.
“It was horrifying; I panicked,” Baker said. “She was actually literally at one point not breathing. It was that bad.”
As soon as she realized what was happening to her daughter, Baker started screaming help. That’s when Schultz ran to the table and offered to do the Heimlich on Reece.
“I’ve had training, I’ve taken athletic training courses,” Schultz said.
Baker said Schultz told Reece to breath and stay calm. She pumped Reece about 16 times before the steak finally was dislodged from the girl’s throat. Afterward mother and daughter cried from both fear and joy.
“I was kind of freaked out too. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. But I was pretty shaken up too,” Schultz said.
Schultz brought Reece vanilla ice cream to calm the girl and try to make her feel better.
“Something like that is really scary to go through,” she said.
Surprisingly, after Baker cut the steak into even smaller pieces, Reece finished her meal.
“She did eat the rest of the steak, but we cut it into tiny little pieces,” Baker said.
“I will definitely absolutely positively pay more attention to my daughter’s eating.”
Baker and Reece were both extremely grateful for Schultz’s help, and Schultz was proud she was able to stay calm during the situation.
“It feels good to know that I didn’t panic, that I knew what to do and I was able to perform it. I praise God that I was able to remember how to and be able to do it because it was pretty intense,” Schultz said.
For Reece, the experience gave her a story of her own to tell.
“I saw like a bright light and my grandma,” Reece said
Although no one can be sure if Reece did see something when she choked, her mother said it was what Reece said happened and she wasn’t going to say it wasn’t true.
“I’m not 100 percent sure she did (see her grandmother), you never know. I don’t know if she saw all that, but we discussed it when we got in the car and I just let her go with it and that’s her story and I’ll just let her keep it,” Baker said.
Amy said the entire experience taught her that despite how mature her daughter was for a 7-year-old, she will cut Reece’s food into smaller pieces and will pay closer attention when she is eating.
“I’m just so appreciative for what (Schultz) did,” Amy said.