Fast food workers have been in the news for months over their pay rates, among other issues, but rarely are they in the news for something like what happened recently at an Eden Prairie, Minnesota McDonald’s.
It all began as part of what 15-year-old Sydney Raley called a “mostly normal day,” making coffee and other drinks.
“Going into the lunch rush, it was all normal,” she said.
That’s when things quickly began to take a turn for the worse.
After handing some food to a customer at the drive-thru window, Raley popped back out of the window to let her know that the rest of her food was still being prepared.
That’s when the young employee realized that the woman was choking on a chicken nugget.
“She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging.” Sydney said in an article published by CNN.
“Her daughter was in the passenger seat and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew ‘Oh, no, she’s choking.”
Thankfully, Sydney was prepared for the big moment.
The drive-thru worker told CNN she had taken a Red Cross babysitter class at age 11, where she learned the Heimlich Maneuver.
“All that training immediately kicked in,” Raley said about the incident’s unfolding.
It didn’t work the first couple of times, however, so she called on a bystander to help her to complete it successfully.
“We worked together and were able to successfully dislodge the food from her throat.” she said according to the article.
Eventually the nugget was dislodged, and the woman was able to resume breathing. Feeling better but still in shock, she thanked Sydney for helping to save her life.
Soon, two officers from the Edina Police Department arrived on the scene to check on the woman, granting her a $100 reward from a fund they use for people who do good work in the community.
“Congratulations you’re a life safer, a hero,” the officers said according to Sydney.
Her life-saving performance was the first time she ever had to use the maneuver, but she said she always knew the importance of it, and to always be prepared.
Following her remarkable display of heroism, her parents Tom and Stephanie made their way to the scene.
“There was an ambulance and a police car sitting there and I looked at my wife and said, ‘Please tell me that’s not something for Sydney,’” Tom told CNN.
“And sure enough Sydney is sitting outside waiting for us to pick her up and says ‘So this happened today.’”