Saving a Life

On this Mother’s Day, one local woman is grateful for the quick thinking and actions of Boy Scout Brayden McAfee, 11, of Newport. Because of McAfee, Ashley Francis’s son’s life was saved when he choked on a piece of hard candy last week.

McAfee has not been a Boy Scout long, but the training he received as his troop learned basic first aid, tourniquet tying and the Heimlich maneuver – and his ability to call upon that training and use it properly – made all the difference for one family. His Scoutmaster (and grandfather) Terry McAfee is to be commended for making sure the young men under his tutelage received vital information and skills they actually knew how to put into practice.

Brayden McAfee was aware enough of the medical implications of the situation that he tried to gauge the strength of his Heimlich maneuver in such a way as to avoid breaking the other youngster’s ribs. When that technique did not work, he had a backup plan in which he placed the choking victim on his back and struck him on the chest in order to free the hard candy. In addition, McAfee knew if the other youngster fell unconscious, he would need to begin CPR – something he was fully prepared to do.

“I’m so thankful he knew what to do,” Francis said.

McAfee surely did his own mother proud on that day, and was able to deliver to Francis the gift of a child who, after grabbing a drink of water, recovered well enough to ask to go back outside to continue playing.

Hearty thanks go out to young McAfee, for his life-saving efforts, but also to his family for raising such a fantastic young man. This story about the enormous good that comes from all the little things it takes to raise a child who will become an exemplary member of our society is a wonderful one to share today.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!