Congressman Pete Gallego (D-Texas) became a bit of a hero on his plane ride home last Friday when he performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on a 3-year-old who was choking on chicken nuggets.
In a conversation with Business Insider on Monday, Gallego recalled the episode, which ultimately involved in the nuggets coming back up all over the federal lawmaker’s suit.
“I unbuckled the little boy, held him back and compressed his chest a little bit and put some pressure so he would throw up. Unfortunately, I thought I was aiming him forward,” Gallego said. “I ended up with chicken nuggets on my chest. But the little boy was fine and that was important in the end.”
Gallego said he didn’t have any specific medical training to prepare him for the incident, first reported by the Houston Chronicle. But the congressman said he learned how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on a child while raising his own son, who once choked on a piece of bacon.
Even without medical training, Gallego apparently impressed some of the passengers on the flight.
“Afterward, the gentleman who was across the aisle … he looks at me and says, ‘Wow, you looked pretty quick. Are you a doctor?’ And I said laughingly, ‘I’m not a doctor. I’m just a dad,'” he recalled.
The child’s mother also showered Gallego with praise on Twitter.
“So thankful for his quick reaction!” she wrote. “It was so scary to see my son unable to breath! Sorry for the mess! Thank you!!!!”
Gallego said his suit is currently at the cleaners.
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