It was just another day on the job for Career Service’s Book of the Month, Mackenzie Cone when in an instant her day and life changed.
While working as a lifeguard at a popular Wisconsin Dells resort, she was met by a distraught mother with an emergency. “A mother came up to me saying that her daughter was choking and not breathing. The little girl, whose face was purple and blue, gave me the choking sign. I put my gloves on and activated our Emergency Action Plan. Once set, I asked the mother for permission to perform the Heimlich. She consented and immediately I gave the girl 5 abdominal thrusts. I checked to see if she was coughing, she wasn’t so then I gave her 5 back thrusts. After the 5th thrust, she started coughing and gasping for air. I encouraged her to cough and finally she vomited which resulted in her being able to breathe again. At that point, the EMS team and my supervisors arrived and took over.”
Mackenzie attributed her focus to the adrenaline she felt during the event. “It definitely helped. It happened so fast, but I stayed focused. Only after it was done, did the shock set in and I started to shake uncontrollably. Once I saw the mother crying, I started to cry.”
Though she wasn’t able to talk directly with the family she helped, her supervisors did relay that the mother was forever grateful. “I was told she called me a hero, but I felt like it was just the one thing I had to do. I just love helping people; I get that from my mom.”