A 12-year-old Nova Scotia girl credits a baby-sitting course with giving her the right know-how to save her grandmother as she choked on a piece of bacon.
Kaylee Campbell was having lunch with her grandmother at a Subway sandwich shop in New Glasgow on Monday. As her grandmother Theresa Mills bit into her sandwich, something became lodged in her throat.
“I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe,” Mills told CTV Atlantic. “I got up and (Kaylee) was trying to give me a drink…I was just hitting my chest.”
The young girl recognized that her grandmother was choking. Immediately, her mind went to a baby-sitting course she’d recently taken at the YMCA.
“I remember from my babysitter’s course that if someone’s choking, you do the Heimlich maneuver. And it sort of just came to me from memory,” she said.
“I was nervous. But out of the babysitter’s course I knew that panicking wouldn’t make anything better. So I kind of stayed calm and did what I knew to do.”
Kaylee quickly moved behind her grandmother, wrapped her arms around her torso and began to perform the life-saving procedure. Meanwhile, Subway employee Amanda Richards called an ambulance.
Fortunately, paramedics weren’t necessary.
“I called 911 but as I was getting out of my mouth that a customer was choking, she came through,” Richards said.
After a few abdominal thrusts, the culprit -- a piece of bacon -- flew out of Mills’ mouth and landed on the floor.
Mills said her granddaughter is “certainly a hero to me.”
“She seemed to know what to do and she just did it. And I could breathe and it was wonderful. Because I’ll tell you, it was scary. It was very scary,” she said.
The knowledge that may have saved Mills’ life is important for people of all ages, says a YMCA employee.
“It’s a good thing for anybody to learn because being able to respond to an emergency, even if it’s the phone call, it’s helping somebody,” said Wendy Sutherland of the Pictou County YMCA.
Campbell is modest about saving her grandmother, and said she’d “do it for anybody.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic