ST. CHARLES, IL - A recent high school graduate, Mary Kate Phillips, saved the life of a choking neighbor and now she is being called a hero.
Kate Baumann was getting ready for her day when her daughter Brooke began to choke on a piece of pancake. Kate tried to dislodge it, but was not able to so she ran across the street where she knew the Phillips were home.
Phillips’ father came outside first and tried the Heimlich Maneuver, but was unable to clear the little girl’s airway. Mary heard the commotion, grabbed her CPR kit, and headed outside where she started compressions. Just prior to the ambulance arriving, the pancake came dislodged and Brooke was able to breathe.
Mary credits her quick thinking to her swim coach and teacher Rob Rooney. “One thing that he did tell us constantly was to count out loud and just focus on what you’re doing.” Mary said, “That’s what I did when I started doing compressions. That’s all I did: I just thought about counting, counting out loud and focusing on what I was doing and drowning everything else out.”
Mary said that she has given Brooke swimming lessons and frequently babysat her. “We’re just very close, the two of us,” Mary told the Kate County Chronicle.
Kate Baumann says her daughter has made a full recovery. “Obviously, we’re extremely grateful that she was able to help because it was a very, very scary situation,” Kate Baumann continued. “And, had she had not been there, [Brooke] might’ve been unable to breathe until paramedics got there, which just seems like an eternity to me.”
Mary will be attending Ball State University in the fall.
Mary Kate Phillips, you are a true hero.