Quick action helps save a life in Edmonds

By Ian Davis-Leonard | Jun 07, 2018
Photo by: Brian Soergel Mary Springer, left, and Lewis Kendricks reunited this week at Olympic View Deli.

Mary Springer hopped into her car to buy tomato plants on a normal Wednesday late last month. The 20-year Edmonds resident had just left her home when she began choking.

Alone, scared and with no one in sight, Springer turned into the Olympic View Deli parking lot on Puget Drive in search of help.

“I don’t know if I was getting any air or not, but it was pretty scary,” Springer said this week.

She quickly jumped out of her car and caught the eye of Lewis Kendricks, a tall, gray-haired man sporting a cowboy hat.

Kendricks was going about his day beautifying the exterior of the store when he heard the gears of Springer’s car grinding as she pulled into the lot.

“When she jumped out of her car, you could tell she was asking for help,” Kendricks said.

Wasting no time, Kendricks placed his arms around Springing and began the Heimlich maneuver. After a few long seconds, Springer could breathe again.

“I didn’t have that much knowledge of the Heimlich,” Kendricks said, “but I have had some training, so it was just kind of instinct and a lot of adrenaline.”

After the incident, both Kendricks and Springer thought about what what could’ve been had he’d not been in the right place at the right time.

“I just went with what was needed,” Kendricks said. “I would want somebody to do that for me.”

Kendricks did what many people may not have known how to do or would’ve been too scared to do.

“I am grateful that he was willing to take action and knew what to do,” said Springer, who herself works in health care and is certified in CPR.

Springer is fully recovered from the harrowing incident, which provided her with what she described as a wake-up call.

“It was quite sobering to realize that if you can’t breathe, you literally only have seconds.”

Along with thanking him profusely after the fact, Springer also sent a letter to the Beacon thanking Kendricks for his heroic action.

She said, in part: “I have never seen anyone use the Heimlich maneuver or had to use it myself, and I am so thankful he knew exactly what to do. He saved my life. Thank you, Lewis, for your quick action!”

The cowboy hat-wearing lifesaver was just happy that he was there and could provide assistance.

“It was awesome to be able to help out,” he said.

South County Fire offers CPR and other lifesaving training. For more information, go to www.firedistrict1.org.

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