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TSA officer at JFK Airport revives traveler who stopped breathing after choking on a donut

June 5, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A donut on National Donut Day. Photo by Lore Croghan
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Today might be Donut Day, but there’s one woman who is probably going to say “No thanks” if someone offers her one of the sweet treats today.

Earlier this week a Transportation Security Administration officer at JFK International Airport who was working at a checkpoint in Terminal 1 noticed a commotion in the middle of the checkpoint line. When he approached to find out what was going on, he saw that a woman was choking. The officer stepped in and attempted to dislodge the item from the traveler’s throat using the Heimlich maneuver, but it didn’t work. The woman’s husband told the officer that his wife had been eating a donut, which got stuck in her throat. Seconds later, the woman stopped breathing and went limp. 

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The TSA officer lowered the woman to the floor and began to perform CPR.

“The woman started to turn blue. She had no pulse,” explained TSA Supervisory Behavior Detection Officer Glenn Davis, who is also a 13-year veteran volunteer fire fighter with the Manorville Fire Department on Long Island. “We tried CPR. I started with chest compressions and I instructed her husband to pinch her nose and breathe into her mouth,” he said. Another TSA officer called 911 and contacted the Port Authority Police. “We worked on her for about five minutes. Finally she started to cough.” 

As the woman began to breathe again, “I monitored her and she began to breathe on her own as the color came back to her face,” said Davis, a Suffolk County resident who has worked for TSA since 2005. 

As the woman regained consciousness, Davis wanted to check her alert level. He asked her what type of donut she had been eating. “As she was telling me about the donut, I began to laugh.” The woman told Davis she was serious about the type of donut she was eating. “I looked at her and told her I knew she was serious. I was just glad she was alive and could tell me about it.”

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