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LIFE SAVER: Employee’s Heroic Actions

You expect good service anytime you go out to eat, and a Des Moines restaurant truly delivered on Wednesday night.

It all started as a typical shift for Tursi’s Latin King Employee Will Tucker.

But as he was delivering a tray of food he noticed some commotion in the dining area.

“I look through and saw this table of people who were panicking,” says Tucker.

Long-time customer, 71-year-old John Holmes was choking and needed help fast.

“I could just kind of tell that it wasn`t going down right,” says John’s wife Margaret Holmes of Pleasant Hill.

Margaret was starting to panic when Tucker came to help.

“It was really scary because I knew it was getting to a really crucial point, he was starting to turn a little blue and he hadn`t had any oxygen for over a minute so I knew when I stepped in to do it I was saving his life in my own hands and if I failed to do that Ii knew it was going to be hard on me,” says Tucker.

Tucker is trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver; it was those skills and his pumping adrenalin that went to work.

“I came up behind him and bent him over and gave him some palm strikes to his back and I went in and up four times and gave him a little break and did it again and they told me it came up and I could hear him hack the food up a little bit,” says Tucker.

John was breathing before paramedics arrived.

“He did a good job and he`s a hero at a young age, he`s got a lot to be proud of,” says Margaret Holmes.

Tucker says he didn’t fully understand his life-saving actions until everything was over.

“I know I saved his life but I almost didn`t realize that until after everything had hit,” says Tucker.

Margaret is just glad he was in the right place at the right time.

“How can you even thank somebody, it`s too big to just say thank you,” says Margaret Holmes.

John is at home recovering and looking forward to celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary in June.

Meanwhile, Tucker is looking forward to an upcoming assignment for his DMACC Speech Communications class, his chosen topic, the importance of CPR and Heimlich maneuver training.

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