‘There is someone choking inside’

High school hero knew what to do

By ROBERT JORDAN
Of the Record staff
Posted 5/10/22

The quick thinking of a Harnett Central High School student is responsible for saving the life of a choking woman at a local Lillington restaurant. The junior was recently awarded for his heroic measures.

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‘There is someone choking inside’

High school hero knew what to do

Posted

The quick thinking of a Harnett Central High School student is responsible for saving the life of a choking woman at a local Lillington restaurant earlier this year. The junior was recently recognized for his heroic efforts.

Anson Everett, 17, of Angier is presently enrolled in the Harnett County Schools Public Safety Academy Fire Program at Harnett Central High School. This academy is tasked with the responsibility of educating its students in fire protection and emergency medical services for a career path in those vocations after graduation.

“My friend and I were waiting in the drive-thru line at Hardee’s in Lillington,” Everett said. “A female employee came out of the restaurant shouting, ‘There is someone inside choking and no one knows what to do!’ We left our truck in the drive-thru line and ran into the restaurant.”

Everett explained he and his friend found an 81-year-old woman, who was nearly unconscious, unable to breath and being physically supported by her husband. The spouse did not possess the physical strength to assist his wife in clearing her airway.

“I knew this lady needed immediate help. Her airway was completely obstructed. I repeatedly performed the Heimlich maneuver on her for nearly two full minutes while we waited for EMS to arrive,” Everett said. “By the time medics were with me, I had been able to nearly clear the victim’s airway of the hot dog that was choking her.”

Paramedics were able to complete clearing the woman’s airway and transported her to a local hospital.

As personnel in the emergency services field, faculty at the high school and others learned of Anson Everett’s life-saving actions, word eventually reached the desk of Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey, who is also the State Fire Marshal. On May 2, Causey came to Harnett Central High School and presented Everett with a Commissioner’s Award for Heroism.

Since the incident, Everett contacted the victim’s husband by phone. On a Saturday, the three of them were able to sit down and enjoy a meal together. The woman recovered well and owes her life to Everett’s training and quick ability to act.

The high school hero’s future plans are to attend a fire academy as soon as he turns 18. That training would already be complete had COVID-19 not interrupted the process. Still, Everett remains undaunted in his quest.

Everett’s father is an employee of the Cary Fire Department. He wants to follow in dad’s footsteps.

“It is all I want to do,” he said.

Robert Jordan can be reached at rjordan@mydailyrecord.com or 910-230-2037.

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