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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Man saves choking gran on 86th birthday

Relatives of an elderly woman have praised the man who saved her life after she started choking while enjoying a meal on her 86th birthday.

Barbara Gilbert was marking her big day with four generations of her family at the Roaring Meg in Biddulph on Sunday when disaster struck.

With her were daughter Gail Moss, Miss Moss’s partner David Harding and his father Ken, granddaughter Lauren Moss and two-year-old great-granddaughter Amora.

Mrs Gilbert, of Reades Lane, Mossley, Congleton, had been tucking into her roast beef lunch when Lauren, (29), realised something was wrong.

“Nana just went quiet. She usually likes to talk but she couldn’t say anything. When we asked ‘are you choking’ she nodded her head.

“Mum banged her on her back for around 30 seconds but that didn’t work. Nana was not breathing at all. I was hysterical and Amora was crying.”

Lauren said that by now people in the pub were starting to look over to their table. “I was screaming for someone to help,” she added.

Dan Parker, who was having a drink with friends in the Roaring Meg, came running over.

Lauren described how he moved the tables and chairs out of the way before proceeding with abdominal thrusts on Mrs Gilbert three or four times to remove the obstruction.

“It was the fourth time he heard a rib pop and she must have been able to swallow the obstruction. She was breathing again. She took a big gasp of air – and so did I!” Lauren said.

“People in the pub were asking if she was ok, and everyone gave Dan a round of applause.”
She believed everyone should learn how to do abdominal thrusts in an emergency adding: “If he hadn’t have been there she could have died. An ambulance would not have been able to get there in time.”

Mrs Gilbert spent Sunday night at Macclesfield District General Hospital for observation but was back home on Monday.

Lauren was full of praise for Mr Parker, who was once a security guard on the former Jeremy Kyle Show television programme.

“We can’t ever thank Dan enough. I thought nana was going to die. We are eternally grateful to him,” she said.

Sixty-one-year-old Gail said: “It happened so quickly. I was banging her back. Mum was lucky she was not at home on her own when something like this happened. She is very active for her age. I just want to thank Dan so much. It was very, very scary. I had learnt first aid but I think I was panicking because it was happening to my mum.”

The NHS website states that when choking is severe the person won’t be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe and that without help, they’ll eventually become unconscious.

Back blows should be carried out first and if that doesn’t dislodge the obstruction abdominal thrusts should commence.

To carry out an abdominal thrust:
• Stand behind the choking person
• Place arms around their waist and bend them forward
• Clench one fist and place it right above their belly button.
• Put the other hand on top of your fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
• Repeat this movement up to five times.

If the person’s airway is still blocked after trying back blows and abdominal thrusts, get help immediately by calling 999 and ask for an ambulance.

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