'Hero' Asda pharmacy colleagues save life of baby who was choking on coin

November 18, 2020

Our quick-thinking pharmacy colleagues Anna Tryka and Mags Shaw have been hailed as heroes for saving the life of a one-year-old baby who was choking on a coin in our Chaucer Road store in Sheffield.

The baby's father ran into the pharmacy in a complete panic with the little girl fighting for breath in his arms. He began screaming for help, saying that the baby had swallowed something and was turning blue.

Resident pharmacist Anna, a trained first-aider who's been at the store for three years, said: "I was in the back and all of a sudden a young gentleman came in and started screaming that he needed help as his baby was choking. The man was really pale and panicking.

"Mags shouted for me and I came out and took the girl from him. I placed the baby on one arm, head down, and starting to push on her back to force the object out. The baby was choking and she was all different colours – it wasn't nice. I pushed her back a few times and she started to cough it up a bit. As it was quite difficult to hold the baby in one arm and push at the same time, I decided to hold the baby and I told Mags what to do and tap on the baby's back. Then, thankfully, the baby brought up a two pence coin and a piece of plastic.

"It was a huge relief and we were so happy when they came out. The baby just hugged me – she was so cute. It's so scary to think what could have happened to her if the father hadn't brought her to us. The adrenalin took over and we just did what we had to do.

"It is the first time I've had to do anything like this. I remember when I was undergoing my first aid training and my tutor showing us how to do the procedure and saying 'you will probably never have to do anything like that, but we have to show you anyhow.'"

After the ordeal the relieved father took the baby to hospital but later that day came back into store with the rest of his family with flowers for Anna and Mags and to thank them again for saving his daughter's life.

He explained that when he noticed his daughter choking at home, he panicked and the only thing he could think of was to run and carry her to the nearest healthcare centre, which was our pharmacy across the road.

Store manager Julian Bell says Anna and Mags are "absolute heroes" for their brave actions.

He said: "Everyone at the store is so proud of them for saving the baby's life. When I found out about it I went to see Anna and she said 'I was just doing my job'.

"It is a big deal though and it's so amazing. They were so calm and cool when the gentleman brought the baby in. Many people would have panicked, but not them – they just sprang into action.

"Anna and Mags are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They are fantastic colleagues and I've never ever heard a bad word said about them. They are so well liked."

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