Nursing student saved from choking

When a fellow Seward County Community College/Area Technical School nursing student was in danger, Tammi Young wasted no time in saving her life. During student presentations on Sept. 25, SCCC/ATS nursing student Yvette Alaniz choked on a large grape and left the Epworth classroom to remove the grape. When she was unable to dislodge the grape herself, she panicked. “I was so scared. I didn’t think it would be that serious, but then I realized that I needed help, and soon,” Alaniz said. “It felt like hours before Tammi came, and I was so relieved that she came to help. I thought I would die alone by chocking on a grape, and I couldn’t get to the room to get help.” Alaniz was losing oxygen and feeling when Young came to the rescue. “I saw the look on her face when she left the room and knew she needed help. Once I found her, I immediately knew what to do,” Young said. Young immediately turned Alaniz around and performed the Heimlich Maneuver. The grape was soon removed from Alaniz’s throat, leaving Alaniz able to finally breathe again. “It’s like second nature to me,” Young said, a respiratory therapist for 13 years. “We’re always taught to check the airways first. I knew I needed to do the Heimlich, and didn’t hesitate.” Alaniz had no other problems, but is very appreciative for Young saving her from a near-death experience. “I’m so grateful; it was my life and it was at risk. I never would’ve thought before to do what Tammi did, but now I can use this to become a better nurse,” Alaniz said. Nursing instructor Nancy Bansemer thought the nerve-racking experience taught the students important lessons as nurses. “One big lesson learned by everyone is how important it is to check on someone when your gut instinct tells you something could be wrong,” Bansemer said.