Melissa “Missy” Williams is being hailed a hero by colleagues
for springing into action to save a person from choking. It happened in
the cafeteria at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Williams, an anesthesia
technician at the Hospital, was checking her phone while waiting for a
friend. Suddenly, she heard a loud banging coming from the table behind her.
“When she turned around and saw a woman was choking, Missy jumped
right in and started the Heimlich maneuver,” said Angela Pasceri,
RN, Nurse Manager in Interventional Radiology at Boca Regional, who witnessed
Williams remained calm and continued to perform the Heimlich, eventually
dislodging a piece of food that had blocked the visitor’s airway.
Relieved, the woman gave a “thumbs up” to signal she was okay
and thanked Williams for saving her, which prompted a robust round of
applause in the cafeteria.
“It all felt like a movie, as if I were watching myself,”
said Williams, recalling the crucial moments. “That was actually
my first time ever performing the Heimlich maneuver.”
While those who witnessed the event call her a hero, Williams insists
she doesn’t deserve the praise. “I really don’t consider
myself a hero. I was just there at the right time to do my part.”
Still, Hospital administrators stressed the significance of Williams’s
actions and emphasized the fact that proper training can save lives.
“We are extremely proud of Missy, for her quick thinking and reaction,”
said Maria Dulaney, RN, Executive Director of Perioperative/Endo Services
at Boca Regional. “This event also serves as a real reminder of
just how important it is for all of us — not just nurses and doctors
— to learn and know how to properly perform lifesaving techniques
such as the Heimlich maneuver and CPR.”
Named after the late surgeon Henry Heimlich, the lifesaving maneuver is
performed by forming a fist above the choking person’s naval, then
placing your other hand over the fist and thrusting your hands upward.
About Boca Raton Regional Hospital – Advancing the boundaries of medicine.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an advanced, tertiary medical center
with 400 beds and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff.
The Hospital is a recognized leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease
and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women’s health,
emergency medicine and the neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art
diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a designated Comprehensive
Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished
Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for the 10th year in a row
and was named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2011, 2012,
2013 and 2014, both by Healthgrades®. Boca Raton Regional Hospital
was also recognized for the third consecutive year in
U.S. News & World Report’s
2013–2014 Best Hospitals listing as a top-ranked hospital in the
South Florida metropolitan area.
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