When Emily Taylor saw a woman choking recently at a local restaurant, it didn’t take long for her instincts and training to kick in.
Taylor, 21, a new graduate of the Owensboro Community & Technical College’s radiography program, immediately began the Heimlich maneuver on the stranger, dislodging the food from the woman’s throat. The woman, who had lost consciousness, awoke, and Taylor then sat with her until EMS arrived.
Taylor’s friend wanted to eat out that day as a celebration for Taylor being accepted into the Chattanooga State Radiation Therapy program, something Taylor has been dreaming about since she first began college.
At first, Taylor said she didn’t realize the woman was choking. The woman eventually passed out and hit her head on the table, which is when Taylor went to see if she could offer assistance.
She said her friend began calling for help, but when Taylor realized no one was coming, she knew she was the woman for the job.
“I just snapped into action,” Taylor said. “Everyone was in shock, it happened so fast.”
She didn’t even think twice, she said, she just ran to the woman knowing what she needed to do.
Taylor remembers going over the Heimlich maneuver very early in the college career. She never imagined she would be in a high-stress situation like that, especially utilizing skills she’d gained nearly two years ago.
The adrenaline was hard to overcome after the incident, Taylor said, and when her food finally arrived after everything was over, she barely recalled ordering.
“I was out of it, and stressed out that I didn’t even get what I thought I’d ordered,” she said.
Following the ordeal, restaurant staff came up to her and thanked her for the quick action. They also took down her name and number in case there were any later questions.
Michelle Tudor, OCTC radiography faculty, said Taylor is a great example of being in the right place at the right time.
“Emily is such a sweet soul and talented radiographer,” Tudor said. “She will continue to do great things and make the world a better place.”
Bobbie Hayse, email@example.com, 270-691-7315