NOT everyone can say that they have saved somebody’s life.
But 18-year-old Harry Arnold did exactly that when he saved a customer who was choking on his food.
Harry, a student at Havant College, used his initiative when he was working at Harvester in Rowlands Castle by using the Heimlich manoeuvre to save a man after spotting him struggling to swallow his meal.
Harry learnt first aid whilst he was a lifeguard at Havant Leisure Centre.
He said: ‘The man who I saved wasn’t in my section of the restaurant when it happened. I was walking past and I was in the right place at the right time.
‘The man’s family were really concerned – both of them started to panic.
‘He tried to have some water and he looked like he was in a lot of pain and starting to stand up trying to cough.
‘Luckily I knew how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre so I grabbed him and managed to get the food he was struggling with out of his mouth.
‘It came flying out and my manager told me it could have been a different situation if I wasn’t working that day.’
Harry, who has aspirations to become a pilot with the RAF, said it was the best feeling in the world and that he was on cloud nine afterwards.
‘I’ve never felt better about myself – no feeling compares to saving a life,’ he added.
‘I’m glad my training paid off. If I hadn’t been trained properly then I don’t think I would have been able to save him.
‘I would recommend everyone to be first aid trained, especially for restaurant workers where it’s likely people will choke on food.
‘You never know when you’ll need it but it’s a great skill to have in case something does happen.’
Claire Squire was sitting on the next table that evening and was amazed by Harry’s quick thinking.
She said: ‘We didn’t even notice what was happening until we heard a noise.
‘We turned around and Harry had already started helping the man. He made sure he was okay and then calmly carried on with his work.’
‘My partner and I were amazed at how cool and calm he was – he was superb!’