Tulsa Bystander Jumps In To Save Stranger With Heimlich Maneuver

Friday, July 31st 2015, 5:38 pm
By: News On 6

Two strangers have now become friends in a quite untraditional way.

Wednesday night, while out with friends, Amanda Clinton started choking on a piece of a cracker. Everyone froze in shock, but one man jumped in just in time.

KC Lupp was hanging out with friends in a booth at Hodges Bend the same night Clinton started choking, and she's thankful he was there.

"Is this really how I die," Clinton thought. "And you're thinking, I might die here."

Lupp said, "I literally thought, as my arms were around her, ‘Don't die in my arms.’"

Clinton said, initially, she thought she'd be able to cough up the quarter-sized cracker she had eaten, but it turned out she needed some help.

"It looked like maybe she was telling a funny story. And she was standing up, and waving her arms, and the noise she was making when she was choking you could tell right away. And I was facing her, and I could see something was off, and I screamed, ‘Are you choking,’ and she nodded and was reaching for her chest," Lupp recalled.

When he came to the rescue, he said he'd never formally learned how to do the Heimlich maneuver but knew what to do just from hearing about the move and watching other people do it in movies.

Clinton said, wherever he learned it, she's grateful because by the time he wrapped his arms around her she had already started seeing spots.

"I could get air in, but I couldn't let air out. And I started wheezing, and the wheezing got louder and louder, and everything just got quiet in here," she said.

From Clinton choking to Lupp actually getting the food dislodged, took less than 30 seconds; but in that short amount of time, Clinton said she feared she might die.

She’s thankful Lupp made sure that didn't happen.

EMSA said the Heimlich maneuver is a simple, yet effective way to save a life, and they advise people to know how to do that as well as CPR.

As a matter of fact, on Saturdays Citizens CPR holds a free training course in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver at different locations throughout the city.

Click here to learn more.