PHOENIX — Betty Lindsey was having dinner with her husband when she heard him shout out: "He’s choking, he’s choking!”
Initially, Lindsey didn't react because she thought her husband was referring to the UFC fight the couple was watching at the Applebees near 75th Avenue and Thomas Road.
Then Lindsey realized it was a man just a few tables away who was in trouble.
“I turn around and there’s a bunch of people surrounding this man and I immediately get up and run over," Lindsey said.
Several people were standing around him and attempting to help but it wasn't working.
“His face was purple and blue and he was just like panic. You could see the panic on his face. I don’t know I just reacted," Lindsey said.
Lindsey has had repeated first aid training from her time in the military to work as a preschool teacher to now owning a martial arts studio so she knew what to do. She performed the Heimlich maneuver.
“After like two or three times of me doing it, he choked up and was just fine. It was like surreal for me," Lindsey said.
Howard Hohman, chief operations officer of RMH Franchise which operates that Applebee's location, released the following statement:
“We offer our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the quick thinking and courageous act by one of our guests who jumped in when another guest who was in distress.”
Lindsey, though, hasn't been able to shake the feeling she had after saving the man's life.
“This is serious," Lindsey said.
Lindsey said she is thankful she was there but is concerned nobody else had the proper training.
She said she hopes she can reach the family of the man she helped to offer them free CPR training. She's extending that offer to anyone in the community who wants to learn.
“We would like to meet with him again, meet with his family again and make sure they get that opportunity to work with us and make sure he’s okay," Lindsey said.
Lindsey and her husband already offer free instruction Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Mesa.
You can find more information about when Lindsey will be offering her CPR training on her Facebook pages:
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