Red Lobster server saves woman's life - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Red Lobster server saves woman's life

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Cindy Ruff says she was enjoying a meal with a friend at Red Lobster.

Before enjoying her meal, she went to take a vitamin.

"The very second I swallowed, I noticed something was horribly wrong. It completely closed my airway," said Ruff.

Ruff says she knew she only had minutes to act and thankfully for her, Sawyer Garrett was standing only feet from her.

"I was running around like a mad dog and just happened to stop and talk to my table for about 30 seconds," said Garrett.

"I touched his shoulder, he turned around and I saw him say the words, you can't breathe," said Ruff.

Garrett wasted no time. "I just happened to be at the right place at the right time."

And he immediately began performing the Heimlich.

"First one, second one," said Ruff. And by the third jolt;  I knew it wasn't working.  I knew I wasn't breathing and I thought I'm dying."

But Garrett wasn't finished.

"I gave her a few smacks on the back and then I heard her gasp," said Garrett. "I had to catch my breath too."

It was situation Ruff didn't expect to be in and says it could have ended a lot differently, if Garrett had been at his normal post, in the bar, on the other side of the restaurant.

"Out of all of the employees in the restaurant and then that he wasn't in his regular job, he was doing special duty, it's a miracle,” said Ruff.

Garrett's years as an Eagle Scout likely played a role, too.

"It's just one of those things that you keep in the back of your mind and you may not think about it for a year or two, but when the time comes you like to think that all the switches click in and that you do the right thing," said Garrett.

And for those pesky vitamins, Ruff says she'll do without for a while.

"I need a little time to recover," said Ruff.

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