My Husband Saved My Son’s Life Tonight – But it Could Have Ended Differently Saturday, April 29th, 2017
That’s not a click-bait title. I honestly couldn’t think of anything better to call this article. This just happened… as in… less than two hours ago, and now that the kids are tucked soundly in their beds, I’m sitting down to process.
Forgive me, because this isn’t a “days later” reflection. This isn’t an “I’m going to come up with the very best article for a week and then write about it” post. This is real-time.
My goal here? Mostly I just want to tell someone what happened because it helps. Right? Ever noticed that? The minute you tell someone what happened… the minute you say out loud what scared you, it seems less terrifying…
Usually. Most of the Time. Hopefully this time.
But my other hope for writing this is to… educate? That’s not the word… highlight? That might be closer… I guess I just want to tell you how something I do everyday could have cost my son his life tonight. You might even do this at your house too. And so I want to share this so that maybe we can all reconsider what we thought was safe.
So, here’s what happened.
Most nights, I prepare dinner for my husband and our three kids (ages 7, 5 & 2), and we sit as a family at our dining room table. I’m not saying that so you think a certain way about me. It’s just true. We often eat dinner around our kitchen island or kitchen table.
But like many families, there are nights where we make plates of food and sit down to watch a movie together in the living room (that is attached to the kitchen). On these nights, its not uncommon for me to fix food for the kids, and then stand in the kitchen talking with my husband while the kids start the show.
That’s exactly what happened tonight. Our youngest had already gone to bed for the night, and my two older kids were sitting on the couch eating their dinner, when I looked up and saw my son (7) standing on the couch waiving his arms (like he was trying to fly).
I don’t know how I knew, because there were no other signs, but I started shouting, “He’s choking!! Jared! He’s choking.”
My husband, Jared, is a firefighter and took the lead. We both raced to the couch. My husband pulled my son down, asking, “Can you breathe? Are you choking? Can you cough?” All while positioning himself behind my son to start the Heimlich maneuver.
Jared didn’t waste anytime waiting for my son to answer. He bent my son over and gave him a few firm wacks on the back, and when it didn’t move the food, he did two good Heimlich pumps, and out flew the half-chewed grape.
We all just stood there, and then collapsed on the floor. Sitting together. Holding each other. Trying to process what happened.
I mean, people choke on food all of the time… I know our story isn’t unique. Traumatic – yes. Unique – no.
But here’s where our night could have ended differently.
We were about to walk out of the room. My husband had been working all evening upstairs in his office, and I was about to go up and sit with him while he worked. It wasn’t far. It wasn’t out of earshot. If the kids needed us, they could come get us. We could get to them in a moment.
But I knew my son was choking because I saw him standing there. If we had been out of the room…
Choking is often completely silent. Right? Don’t they say that? Well, as it turns out, it’s true.
So I’m sitting here thinking of all of the things that could have happened. We do that anyway. Don’t we, parents? We replay over and over our close calls or our decisions or our less than great parenting moments. We wonder what we could or should have done differently.
But tonight, I’m thinking about how often I will hand my older two children a snack, and then go do something else (like take care of the laundry, or make the beds, or make a quick phone call). I’m not gone long, and I definitely don’t do this with the two year old, but the bigger kids?
You guys, what would have happened if I had walked out of the room and gone upstairs tonight? I just can’t quit thinking about it.
So here’s the thing. I know everyone is online these days saying what a dangerous world it is. Every five minutes there is another story on our newsfeeds about a mom and her kids nearly escaping some sex-trafficking abduction. We hear about dangers at school or the playground or how you’re supposed to parent or not supposed to parent. I get it. There’s so much to worry about, and I’m not trying to add one more thing to our world already living in fear.
But I will say this.
My husband saved my son’s life tonight, and I’m not sure the story would have ended the same way if we hadn’t been in the room when he was choking.
Bottom line. My husband is a rockstar. So is Jesus. We’re praising Him for all of the ways He loves us. And I’m going to need some virtual fellow mom hugs now.
So much love – Becky
(PS I’ve been cutting my kids’ grapes in half for seven years…. and it looks like I’m going to cut them for at least another seven more. Totally adding this grape cutter (affiliate) to my Amazon cart.