Weatherford Democrat

Big Story AM

August 2, 2011

A real life saver

Teen uses Heimlich to save grandmother

WEATHERFORD — Patsy Shaw, 71, was enjoying a classic snack of chocolate chip cookies and milk Friday night when the evening took a turn for the worse.

A piece of cookie lodged itself in her throat, and despite her best efforts, she couldn’t make it budge up or down. On any other night this could have meant disaster for the grandmother who lives on her own. But this Friday night, one of her grandsons, Curtis Vance, 18, happened to be at her home.

“She came running into the room holding her neck,” Vance said. “I couldn’t understand what she was saying, she was more mumbling, so I did the Heimlich.”

Shaw said she was trying to say “choking, cookie” and is grateful her grandson was there.

“I was on my way out,” she said. “I couldn’t breath. He got there in the blink of an eye and had me in the Heimlich, and on the second time, he got it up and out. He saved my life.”

The rest of Vance’s family, his parents and siblings, were out of town for the weekend. He originally had plans to go out with some friends Friday night, but plans changed.

“[If I hadn’t been there] I don’t think she would have been able to get to a phone, and nobody in the last few days we were here has stopped by. We probably wouldn’t have found her until my parents got home [Sunday].”

Shaw is filled with praises for her grandson who will attend Weatherford High School as a senior this fall and has plans to join the Air Force following graduation.

“He’s a good boy,” she said. “If he hadn’t been there to do that, I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

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