Grapevine Stories

A bit of a close call...

Do you know how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre? We all need to know exactly what to do as choking happens & can end badly in a surprising number of people. I feel lucky my husband survived to tell the tale.

I've just been on holiday with the fam and it was a great week of skiing, seeing loads of mates and having lots of fun despite the extraordinary snowy weather. 

BUT we did have a bit of a drama that I felt I should share with you all, in the hope this could save someone in the future.

My husband, Oli explains what happened.

'I had a bit of a scary moment last night. I hope this story might help someone in the future.We were having a family dinner en vacances and I was eating some rather tough veal.

I swallowed one mouthful and it got stuck quite far down my windpipe around my sternum and it started to hurt a lot.  I tried to cough to move the food, but nothing happened. And again. Nothing.

It was getting more painful, so l asked Panda's step-father Hughie if he could hit me on the back and he did it again and again and again, harder and harder.

But nothing was shifting. The pain was getting worse. 

I tried to drink some water to shift it, but it just came straight back up, which was very strange as I'd never had that before.

I said to Hughie "I'm in trouble". 

I have read in the past about the Heimlich manoeuvre, but I didn't quite know what to do and I don't think Hughie did either, so I placed his fist on my bottom of my ribs, and he went to grab me from behind and started squeezing hard to release the food. Nothing was happening still and the pain was indescribable. ( I was hunched over the table, coughing, spluttering, spitting, panicking.

The waitress then noticed the kerfuffle, and came along and said you've got to try and be sick . And with Hughie's continued hard squeezing, suddenly the food and water all erupted out onto my main course platter. Thank God. I could breathe again.

Apparently I was as white as a sheet and sweating profusely . But the pain dissipated, albeit with a thudding ache low down in my windpipe. Ice cream helped.

In the following hour, I spoke to three different people in the restaurant and our hotel, who all said that they knew somebody who died from choking (not old people). This was a bit shocking as I'd never heard of one person knowing someone who died this way.

So I'm not saying that I was going to die de, but it was pretty scary!I googled how to do it correctly to see how it's meant to be done. And we hadn't done it right or in the correct position.

So in the spirit of trying to help when this happens, please do see what you're meant to do. Onwards 🤦‍♀️

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