My Husband Saved My Son’s Life Tonight – But it Could Have Ended Differently

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.

As always,
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.


  • Rachael Jasper says:

    Hugs momma! Praise God he is okay!!

  • Noelle says:

    1. Thank you, Jesus!!! You were there to see this, your husband new what to do and is trained to act quickly and calmly in an emergency! I’m so glad your son is ok!

    2. How terrifying!! I do this often with my son. Thank you for sharing… I will be definitely be more cautious from here on out!

  • Tammy says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m thankful to God that your son is fine. I take care of my grand children and this is one of the hard fast rules I have. I cut everything up!

  • Dawn says:

    Praise God you are both rock stars… And God kept you both these for such a time as this. Big HUGS mama… And I am sure dad is going to need them too.. but oh. Mama I feel ya.. praying you can get some peaceful sleep tonight.

  • Melissa says:

    I’m so glad your son is okay. Praise God your husband was near to save him. Sending you (((hugs))) from Holyoke MA.

  • Danielle Kendig says:

    Hugs momma!! Seriously BIG hugs! And a double high five for the hubby. These moments are so terrifying, and we all beat ourselves up over them! But the truth is, you are given the grace you need to know this wasn’t your fault and that you’re an amazing mom even in the moments you have walked away while they snack. I know, if you’re like myself your probably “thinking” you shouldn’t blame yourself, but in your heart you do. Ick… stop that! I’m here to say… you’re an amazing mom, you deserve the grace, and these extra hugs! I’ll be saying an extra prayer for you and yours tonight, and tomorrow I’ll be cutting grapes in halfs. Haha xo!

  • Kristyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. We had a similar scare about six years ago with my older daughter. She was learning to swim at home but not taking to the lessons well, so my mom got her a swim belt to help give her more confidence. She took it off to go inside and when she came back forgot to put it back on. No one heard her come outside, enter the pool, or slip under the water at the incline. She was under water looking up at me, begging me to help her. I was shocked and literally, couldn’t move my feet. It was like I was stuck in concrete! My mom got to her in time and we immediately signed up for swimming lessons at the local college. But no one tells you how silent these things really are – they aren’t like the movies!! So glad your family is safe and well tonight. Hug them closer, cherish them longer. God bless you!!

  • Tiffany says:

    Becky, that was totally a God thing. Like you said, you have done it many other times (and so have .I) May you be blessed with His peace that passes all understanding tonight.

  • Linda Baize says:

    I worked in the O.R. of a children’s hospital for 8 years. We had several children over the years as patients who were brain dead from choking on grapes and hot dogs. Two deadly foods for kids. Perfect size for blocking the trachea.

  • Mary says:

    I still get a sick feeling thinking about the “what ifs” regarding my daughter when she choked on some food. It’s so scary to think about because not only were we in the same room as her, we were sitting at the dining room table eating dinner together. My husband and I were having a conversation and we didn’t notice right away! That’s how quiet it is.

    I’m so glad you were there when your son was choking and that he is okay!

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