McDonald’s worker dives through drive-thru window to save lady choking on nugget

A teenage McDonald’s worker has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a customer who was choking on a Chicken McNugget.

Sydney Raley, 15, jumped through the drive-thru window after seeing the drama unfolding in front of her at the restaurant in Minnesota.

“The day had been mostly normal – making coffee, making drinks. Going into the lunch rush, it was all normal,” Sydney told CNN.

But after handing the unfortunate customer some of her food via the drive-thru window, she popped back to let her know the rest of her order was on its way.

That's when Sydney – who has worked at the restaurant for about seven months – saw that the woman was choking and struggling to breathe.

“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’.”

After asking both her manager and the woman's daughter to call the emergency services, she leapt through the window to help, using her Red Cross babysitter training to carry out a Heimlich manoeuvre.

“All that training immediately kicked in,” Sydney told CNN.

The manoeuvre initially didn't work but with the help of a bystander at the restaurant, in Eden Prairie, near Minneapolis, they saved the woman’s life.

“We worked together and were able to successfully dislodge the food from her throat,” Sydney said.

Two police officers arrived and checked the woman, who was in shock but otherwise OK, and they gave Sydney a $100 reward from a fund used for people who do good work in the community.

Her parents, Tom and Stephanie, were on their way to pick her up from work when they saw an ambulance and a police car.

“I looked at my wife and said, ‘Please tell me that's not something for Sydney’,” Tom said.

“And sure enough Sydney is sitting outside waiting for us to pick her up and says, ‘So this happened today’…”

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Restaurant owner-operator Paul Ostergaard said: “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.

“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.”

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