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Local

GreenFields employees save lives with Heimlich maneuver

Mary Kennedy, an employee at Greenfields of Geneva, was on vacation in Europe with her husband, Patrick, when she used lifesaving training she learned at work to rescue a choking diner at a restaurant.
Mary Kennedy, an employee at Greenfields of Geneva, was on vacation in Europe with her husband, Patrick, when she used lifesaving training she learned at work to rescue a choking diner at a restaurant.

BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – For the second time in just over a year, an employee at GreenFields of Geneva senior living community saved someone’s life using the Heimlich maneuver, according to a news release.

The first time involved a high school-age dining room server who rescued a resident who was choking at dinner, the release stated.

The second, more recent incident, involved Mary Kennedy, a life enrichment associate, the release stated.

Kennedy was in a restaurant on vacation in Europe when the training she received at GreenFields spared a fellow diner’s life, the release stated.

“I am very proud to say that because of the life-saving training I received at GreenFields, I had the confidence to jump into action,” Kennedy stated in the release.

While Kennedy and her husband were eating their dinner, her husband noticed a woman walking near their table at the back of the restaurant with a panicked look on her face.

“I think she’s choking,” he said to his wife, according to the release.

“Other patrons got up when they saw what was happening, but I knew exactly what to do,” Kennedy stated in the release.

Kennedy asked the woman, who appeared to be in her mid-60s, if she could speak. When she shook her head no, Kennedy asked her to raise her arms and then performed the Heimlich maneuver, the release stated.

“I felt so glad I could help her and so grateful to GreenFields,” Kennedy stated in the release.

All members of the GreenFields staff receive ongoing training in the Heimlich maneuver, CPR, fire and other emergency situations, the release stated.

Once recovered, the choking woman embraced Kennedy and her husband in gratitude, the release stated.

She told Kennedy, “I was thinking that today was going to be my last day,” the release stated.

“My adrenaline was still pumping, too,” Kennedy stated in the release. “It was hard to finish my meal. Maybe I should have gone out for a little walk.”

Several patrons also approached Kennedy with their thanks, and someone at the restaurant asked her whether she was a nurse, the release stated.

Kennedy told them she was not a nurse, but that she works in a senior living community.

“I was so proud to be able to say that, and I’m so grateful for all the experiences I’ve been given at GreenFields,” Kennedy stated in the release.

“They’ve all been wonderful, but to be able to save someone’s life because of what I’ve learned is really something.”

Kennedy’s current training goes far beyond what she received in a former senior care experience, the release stated.

“I understand that people might think of me as a hero, but again, I’m just grateful that I knew what to do because of my training at GreenFields,” Kennedy stated in the release.

Remarking that the choking woman should have gone to the front of the restaurant, where more people could see the predicament she was in, Kennedy realized that had she not been where she was, things may have turned out very differently for her, the release stated.

While she did not share contact information with her fellow diner, “I’m sure she’ll always remember that day, and so will I,” Kennedy stated in the release.

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