The weekend started out like every other weekend does... It was Visitation weekend. The twins' dad and grandma drove up to see Sammy and Jason. We met Grandma at the corner store at 2 and after getting them into their car seats, they were off. I had four hours to kill so I got a little over two miles of walking in and did some grocery shopping.
Dinner was deep fried tacos and all the fixings. My neighbor, her kids, and a friend were over to share the meal. (I hate cooking for just myself.) We had refried beans, pinto beans, rice, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, three kinds of salsa, freshly shredded cheese, and my favorite jack-in-the-box style tacos !!! I gave each of the twins half of a taco (not too crunchy but fried), some beans and cheese. They tossed the shell and devoured the beans, meat and cheese. Sammy was eating a second spoonful of beans that we had put on the try of his high chair. We were watching a movie, laughing, eating and having a good time.
All of a sudden, my neighbor Gracie said my name followed by the scariest words... "Courtney ! I think he's choking !" I looked over to the twins who had been eating an laughing along with us just seconds prior to this. Jason was pushing his food around on his tray. However, Sammy had a horrible look on his face.
I grabbed Sammy and pulled him out of the high chair. I stuck my finger in his mouth and tried to get the food out. He seemed to have a dozen beans in his mouth ! (An exaggeration but I am seeing this from the eyes of a very panicked mother.) I tipped him over in my arms and started hitting him in his back with the heel of my hand to dislodge the food. It wasn't working. Gracie was yelling to tilt him down, hit harder, Jason was freaking out, Gracie's kids were scared, her daughter was frozen. I remember screaming "OH MY GOD" a few times. Gracie grabbed Sammy out of my arms. She was sticking her finger down his throat, tipping him to hit his back, doing a finger sweep, tipping him again. Sammy's face started to turn blue. The color started at his lips, came up over his nose and spread...
I screamed at the kids to get Jason out of the room. I swore at our friend to call 911. At that point, I started screaming "SAMMY !" over and over again...
Gracie had him on the ground and was trying her hardest to dislodge the food in his throat. Our friend was on the phone with 911. Sammy's mouth was bleeding. He would start to cough and gag, cry a little, and then he would go silent. The images are still jumbled in my head.
He finally had the food out of his throat. He was crying, I was crying, Gracie and her daughter were crying. Jason was zoned out watching Elmo in the other room. I was shaking. I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was going to puke. I tried to take Sammy from Gracie but she told me to sit down and breathe. Our friend brought me my inhaler and we finally heard the sirens. The paramedics raced up the stairs.
I finally had Sammy in my arms. I was sitting in a chair but I was rocking back and forth. He was drooling and bleeding on my chest. The paramedics and firemen filled the living room and started asking questions. I just kept repeating myself : "She saved him! She saved him ! Gracie did it !"
We took an ambulance ride to the ER to make sure that he didn't have any food caught in his throat. I called the grandmas and their dad to let them know what had happened. I was still shaking. Sammy was climbing all over me and wanting his bottle. He was playing patty cake and trying to dance in my lap. My baby was going to be okay.
Their dad and grandma ended up coming to the hospital to wait with us. As soon as Daddy held Sammy, he calmed down. Sammy eventually fell asleep in his daddy's arms. I haven't shared space with my (soon to be ex) husband in over eight months. There is an order of protection in place so there was a police escort when he got there. Considering the circumstances, the police officer allowed their dad to stay. We both agreed to be nice to each other, and I felt it was best for Sammy.
The x-ray showed that Sammy did not have anything in his windpipe or lungs. They discharged us a little before 11 o'clock. After we got home, I couldn't stop thanking Gracie. I
can't don't want to even imagine what would have happened if she hadn't been there. She told me that the whole incident lasted no more than a minute. It felt like forever to me...