A 15-year-old McDonald's worker potentially saved a customer's life by jumping through the drive-thru window after she noticed the woman choking on a chicken nugget.
Last weekend, Sydney Raley was working her shift at a McDonald's in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, giving food to customers at the drive-thru.
Sydney then realised something was wrong with the customer she was serving.
"I noticed that she was coughing profusely and her daughter just had this look on her face like sheer terror," Sydney told local news station KARE11.
"I could tell 'oh, crap, she’s choking!' Just seeing that visceral reaction I knew we need to act fast."
Fortunately, Sydney had done first aid training when she was 11 years old.
She jumped out of the window, told the customer to get out of the car and instructed the daughter to call for help.
The Heimlich manoeuvre didn't work the first few times, so she called upon another who was waiting for his food to come and help, Sydney told KARE11.
The other customer was able to dislodge the chicken nugget stuck in the woman's throat.
"It could’ve ended a lot worse but I am super thankful for that bystander who helped so much," she said.
"Because I am decent at first aid, but if it weren’t for him and our efforts together, it could’ve ended so much worse."
Police officers from the Edina Police Department arrived at the scene to assist the woman and rewarded Sydney for her heroism — giving her $100 from the fund the police use to give back to people who do good in the community.
"They said, 'Congratulations you're a lifesaver; you're a hero'," Sydney told CNN.
Just after emergency services had arrived at the McDonald's, Sydney's parents arrived to pick her up.
Her father Tom told CNN they saw the ambulance and police car out the front and for a moment worried they were there for something to do with Sydney.
Guys. You will WANT to tune into @kare11 for a very amazing story!!!! This is Sydney Raley. She is a ray of sunshine, a brilliant young woman who also happens to have autism. Yesterday, she noticed one of her customers choking at the @McDonalds drive-thru window, and she 1/ pic.twitter.com/TVBVtLcyG1
— Eva Andersen - KARE 11 News (@EvaKare11) December 19, 2021
He told the station he is extremely proud of her.
"I always tell her she has a gift, because she's autistic," said Tom.
"She can remember anything – do anything."
The police Sergeant was also proud of the 15-year-old.
"We’re very proud of Sydney. She’s a great example of how all of us – no matter our age or position – can make a difference in our communities," Sgt. Scott Mittelstadt said, according to the department's Facebook post.
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