Sydney Raley 15 year old McDonald’s worker hailed a hero after jumping through drive thru window to save choking customer at Eden Prairie location.
‘The day had been mostly normal — making coffee, making drinks. Going into the lunch rush, it was all normal,’ Sydney, who has been working at the fast food eaterie for seven months, told the network.
But things took a dramatic turn when the teen — whose family said has autism — handed a customer part of an order and then stuck her head out the window to tell the woman that the rest of her food was on the way.
‘She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging,’ Sydney said. ‘Her daughter was in the passenger seat, and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew, ‘Oh, no! She’s choking.’’
Setback turned out to be a blessing
The quick-thinking teen, who learned the Heimlich maneuver when she took a baby-sitting first aid class at age 11, said she jumped into action as ‘all that training kicked in.’
After instructing her manager and the customer’s daughter to call 911, Sydney tried the life-saving maneuver — and called on a bystander to help when it didn’t dislodge the nugget at first.
We worked together and were able to successfully dislodge the food from her throat,’ Sydney told KARE11, adding that the woman promptly began breathing again.
The teen girl said two responding police officers rewarded her with $100 from a fund earmarked for Good Samaritans.
‘They said, ‘Congratulations, you’re a lifesaver — you’re a hero,’’ Sydney said.
The teen worker’s parents, Tom and Stephanie also told the network that Sydney like the individual whose life she saved, also having autism.
‘We always worried it was going to be a challenge for her, and it’s done a complete 180,’ Sydney’s dad told the network. ‘It’s actually been a blessing and a gift at this point. All the things we worried about never happened.’
Offered franchise owner-operator Paul Ostergaard in a statement to CNN: ‘We are incredibly proud of Sydney and her quick, heroic actions over the weekend to help one of our valued customers.
‘Sydney truly personifies what it is to be a hero and we are incredibly lucky to have her as a highly valued crew member at our Eden Prairie restaurant location. We are excited to see all of the well-deserved recognition she has received from the community and will continue to celebrate her courageous efforts of literally jumping out of the drive-thru window to provide aid to a customer in need.’