‘Did that just happen?’ North Carolina nursing student saves Olive Garden employee from choking

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Joyce Floyd and Madeline Hare – Gaston College

DALLAS, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A nursing student at Gaston College used the Heimlich maneuver to save the life of an Olive Garden employee who was choking in the kitchen last week, according to the college.

According to Gaston College, Madeline Hare was with six other students and their clinical nursing instructor at a lunch to celebrate the completion of their two-month clinical rotation when an employee began choking in the back.

Another employee reportedly ran to their table to alert Joyce Floyd, the clinical instructor, of the emergency.

Floyd rushed to the back to attempt the Heimlich maneuver but was unsuccessful after several thrusts.

Floyd then called Hare to come to the kitchen.

Gaston College said Floyd believed Hare, who was much taller than her instructor, could be more effective.

Hare was able to dislodge the food from the employee’s throat on her fifth thrust.

“During the procedure, the adrenaline took over and I don’t even remember thinking—I was just doing,” Hare said. “After the procedure, I thought, ‘Did that just happen? My family will never believe this!’ And then my hands were shaking and I was so overwhelmed by what had just happened. I could not believe it was real.”

Gaston College Dean of Health and Human Services Dr. Allison Abernathy said the school is proud of Hare’s quick action.

“It demonstrates the professionalism, skill, and dedication to helping people that our faculty and students share,” Abernathy said. “I’m very happy that Madeline, Joyce, and the other students were in the right place at the right time.”

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