Golden Corral customer helps save a choking baby: 'Christ was with us today'

Jaimie-lee Prince
Nov 26, 2018
12:52 P.M.

Deborah Rouse has been deemed a hero thanks to her quick thinking at the North Carolina Golden Corral on Thanksgiving day. The family of the child she saved reached out to her on social media.


Hannah Jarvis and her husband were hoping for a quiet dinner at the Hendersonville restaurant last Thursday. Instead, worry ensued when their seven-month-old daughter started choking on mashed potatoes.

The baby girl named Calli was with her parents and her grandfather Cimarron Waldrop. Waldrop spoke to WLOS about the heart-wrenching incident.

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Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

"I had just walked back in from getting some food. I noticed something was going on wrong. They were getting out napkins. I thought she was just spitting up."

Calli's aunt Gabby Waldrup was also present. She said: “We all started freaking out. My mom said call 911. She couldn’t breath for a minute.”


According to Jarvis, a waitress stepped in and tried to help. She soon called out to other patrons asking them to assist.

Grandfather Cimarron said: “The folks turned to my grandbaby, and that's when that lady that saved her came up.”

According to Jarvis:

“This lady named Deborah intervened, and she started performing the Heimlich maneuver on her. She held her down, like this, taking multiple blows to her back. It was miraculous, she started breathing again. She told me her name is Deborah Rouse.”


The Heimlich maneuver is a popular technique known for helping adults who are choking. However, blows to the back are what Rouse used on baby Calli. Thankfully, it worked.

“I didn’t get her phone number or anything, but I knew her name and wanted people to know she's a hero."

Rouse has five children of her own. Jarvis told her marine husband all about the heroic mother. She and Cimarron both wanted to thank her again after they left the restaurant.


They posted a message to Facebook which circulated quickly. Jarvis said they had gotten Calli checked at the ER and she was doing fine.

Along with a picture of Rouse and Calli, Jarvis wrote:

"I will never forget the many tears that were shed today in Golden Corral as this angel stepped in to preform [sic] the heimlich maneuver that saved my baby from choking to death. Most importantly, thank you Jesus for hearing our desperate cries for Calli this Thanksgiving afternoon.”


Rouse saw the post and responded to the grateful family in kind:

“Good evening Mrs. Hannah, I saw the news article and I messaged you my number! I’m elated that Callie is doing well, y’all have been on my mind since yesterday! Love you all and take care.”

She later added:

“What a blessing!! What a Thanksgiving. I’m soooooooo THANKFUL to God for having me in the right place at the right time!!! God, You are WORTHY.”

In an open call for help, another woman is looking to a stranger for a miracle. Susie Rabaca, 36, needs a life-saving bone-marrow transplant as she prepares to deliver twins in early December.


Rabaca was diagnosed with aggressive acute myeloid leukemia earlier this year. Because she is Latino and Caucasian, her family cannot assist her, and neither can the 30 million people listed in the registry.

Rabaca, who is from Southern California, sent out a plea on Thanksgiving day to the public.

"Sign up to be the match. It's a simple swab of your cheek. If you are my match, then it's a simple blood draw. And you can save my life."

While some were saving lives on Thanksgiving, however, two boys risked their own lives and the lives of several others by going on a joyride in the sky.


Teenage boys aged 14 and 15 from Utah stole, flew and landed a small plane at Vernal Regional Airport on Thursday. They were subsequently arrested by the Uintah County Sheriff Police.

The boys were living at a group home but were visiting friends near Jensen, Utah for the holidays. They first stole a tractor before taking off with the single-engine plane, putting not only their lives but many others at risk.

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