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Video Shows Bartender Saving Young Man Who Was Choking on a Sandwich

Brittany Chalmers
Nov 23, 2021
10:40 A.M.
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A video recently captured a life-saving event. In the dramatic incident, a young man choked on a sandwich and desperately needed help. A bartender stepped in to assist, and the encounter went viral.

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When a server started choking, a 33-year-old bartender reacted instantly. He did not waste any time and immediately performed the Heimlich. From behind, the bartender locked his arms around the man and pushed down on his chest.

The 22-year-old server could not breathe, and despite the bartender's efforts, it seemed as if the piece of chicken sandwich would not dislodge. All of the employees in the Wisconsin restaurant were visibly panicked.

A bartender performs the Heimlich on a server who is choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

A bartender performs the Heimlich on a server who is choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

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INSTINCT KICKED IN

Bartender Joseph Reinhart was busy preparing a few drinks for the evening when he saw server, Ashton, struggling to breathe. Reinhart had never performed the Heimlich before, but his instinct kicked in.

The bartender shared:

"I never took any classes. You don't have a whole lot of time to think. I had a high sense of anxiety of not knowing what happened and having to do something you've never done."

A bartender performs the Heimlich on a server who is choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

A bartender performs the Heimlich on a server who is choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

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STRUGGLED TO DISLODGE THE FOOD

Reinhart expressed that the adrenaline rushing through him helped. At first, it seemed as if a piece of the sandwich came out easily. However, Ashton quickly pointed toward his neck to indicate that not everything was out yet.

Ashton's mother was one of the restaurant employees that could be seen in the video. She looked distressed as her son struggled. One of the other servers dialed 911 while the encounter unfolded.

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THE AFTERMATH OF THE CHOKING

Eventually, Reinhart was able to help Ashton dislodge all of the food that was inhibiting his breathing. What happened next showed just how traumatizing the ordeal was for Ashton.

He sat on the ground, shaking and crying in the aftermath of his choking. The bartender consoled him and rubbed his arms in an attempt to help calm him down.

A bartender consoles a server who is overcome with emotion after choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

A bartender consoles a server who is overcome with emotion after choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

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THE ONLINE REACTION

The dramatic clip garnered a massive online reaction. The video was viewed more than 400 thousand times and garnered hundreds of comments.

One netizen stated: "The man did a great job saving the boy's life." Many pointed out that the technique used was not correct. Regardless, it did the trick for Ashton.

Netizens react to a quick acting bartender who performed the Heimlich on a server that was choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

Netizens react to a quick acting bartender who performed the Heimlich on a server that was choking | Photo: Facebook/viralhog

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THE TECHNIQUE SAVED A LIFE

A user also shared their own choking experience. They expressed: "Feel for him it's happened to me. It is really terrifying as an experience, and after I got help, I felt mega embarrassed and just cried."

People also encouraged others to learn how to do the Heimlich. Someone said: "Everyone should learn this technique. Can be a lifesaver." This certainly was the case for Ashton, who might not have made it if not for the bartender's quick actions.

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