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Life Saved #2404

On June 22nd, 2024 a 42-year-old man choked on a waffle fry resulting in a total obstruction. Protocol was followed but was unsuccessful. LifeVac removed the obstruction on its second use. The man’s cousin who administered LifeVac describes the incident as follows:

“A little about my cousin and why I got LifeVac in the first place: He is 42 years old and has a condition called Friedrich’s Ataxia. He is wheelchair bound making the Heimlich Maneuver difficult to employ and has swallowing issues. Dysphagia is a common issue for people with Friedrich’s Ataxia, I try to be very careful with what I give him to eat and yesterday was no different. We had left his sister’s birthday party and were driving back home about an hour away. He and his sister (they both have Friedrich’s Ataxia) had indicated they were hungry so we stopped at a drive-thru. We were quite a bit into our trip and had come to a complete stop on the freeway when I noticed Joshua had started choking. I called 911 (literally getting a message that all operators were busy and that I had an expected wait time) and started administering back blows hoping to dislodge what was stuck in his throat while taking the exit I was by. The fear on his face was almost overwhelming. Fortunately, I was able to quickly and safely come to a stop. I opened the glove compartment, grabbed my travel LifeVac kit, and started opening the plastic while running around the front of my car. Two police officers were in front of me and I put the mask on his face and pushed in the plunger. The first time I couldn’t get it positioned well because he was rocking back and forth pretty hard. I was able to the second time and dislodged a waffle fry from his throat. He immediately started vomiting and continued to vomit a few more times, while the police helped me to get him in a better position. He was taken to the hospital to be checked for aspirating food in his lungs and released a few hours later. I keep a LifeVac in my pantry at home and in both of my vehicles if something like this were to happen. While I hoped to never use it, I’m so thankful to God that it was there for me to do so.”


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