When Sydney Raley, a 15-year-old McDonald’s employee, realized that a customer she was serving had started choking on the drive-thru, she immediately took action, leaping out the window duty to perform the Heimlich maneuver – and potentially save a woman’s life.
Raley’s Saturday shift at McDonald’s in Eden Prairie, Minnesota began as it would any normal day.
It was “the rush to come and go, the lunch rush,” the teenager, who has worked at McDonald’s since the summer, told NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis.
“The line was completely packed,” she said.
Raley, who started working in the fast food restaurant in the summer, said she was handing out food at the drive-thru when she noticed a customer was “coughing profusely.”
“I could tell… she is choking. I jumped out of the drive-thru window and pulled her out of the car,” she told the news channel.
Raley said she told the woman’s daughter to call 911 and then asked a passerby for help. Together, the couple managed to dislodge the chicken nugget the woman was choking on.
The 15-year-old said she took Red Cross first aid training several years ago at the age of 11 and was preparing to become a babysitter.
“It could have ended a lot worse, but I’m very grateful for this viewer who helped so much,” said Raley. “Because I’m decent at first aid, but without him and our efforts together, it turned out so much worse.
When police responded, they thanked Raley and gave him $ 100 for his help, the teenager said.
Eden Prairie Police Sgt. Scott Mittelstadt told KARE the money came from a fund meant to recognize or help citizens during the holiday season.
“Our crime fund has given each officer fifty dollars to distribute wherever we need it, [including] if anyone has done an exceptional job, beyond ”, Mittelstadt. “She deserves this money.”
Raley, who is autistic, said the whole meeting made her proud of herself.
“[I] I feel like … I am really able to contribute to society and really able to make a difference, ”she said.
Paul Ostergaard, the owner and operator of the Eden Prairie site, said he was proud of Raley for his “swift and heroic actions”.
“Sydney truly personifies what it is to be a hero and we are incredibly lucky to have her as a much-loved crew member of our Eden Prairie restaurant,” he said in a statement.
“We are delighted to see all the well-deserved recognition she has received from the community and will continue to celebrate her courageous efforts to literally jump out the drive-thru window to provide assistance to a customer in need.”