Yesterday, Chicago Bears linebacker, Jerrell Freeman, wasn’t following his diet; instead, he was chowing down on a brisket sandwich in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
“I’m not really supposed to be eating that,” Freeman told the Chicago Tribune. “But whatever. It’s probably my last bad meal for a while. So what the heck?”
His coach might have said that restaurant was the wrong place for him to be, but he was certainly in the right place for Marcus Ryan. Ryan was also enjoying some tasty brisket at a nearby table, but then it went horribly wrong.
Freeman says he saw Ryan stand up, “Like he had forgotten something and was about to go running for it. But then he went around the table and started to look a little frantic. I’m thinking, ‘Man, this is odd. Maybe one of his kids walked off, and he can’t find his kid or something?’”
An older lady in the restaurant immediately realized that Ryan was choking. She stepped in to perform the Heimlich maneuver, but she lacked the force needed to push the food out of Ryan’s throat.
Freeman, a 6-foot, 236-pound man, stepped up to help, performing the Heimlich—even though he’d never done it before. The first time he performed the maneuver, it didn’t quite do the job.
“I grabbed him and tried to squeeze the life out of him,” Freeman said. “You’ve got to push in and up. So I did that, and he started throwing up what he was choking on. I asked him if he was all right and he shook his head like ‘No!’”
The second time did the trick:
“I grabbed him again and hit him again with it,” Freeman added. “And when I put him down the second time, his eyes got big. He was like, “I think you just saved my life, man!’ It was crazy.”
Ryan had another surprise: the man who had just saved his life was a Chicago Bears linebacker. They posed for a photo together, which Freeman posted on his Twitter.
Freeman’s mom—a nurse—must be proud of her son.
“I’ve never done the Heimlich before,” Freeman said. “I don’t think I’ve had any training or anything. My mom’s a nurse, and she had talked about it. So I just did what I heard you should do. I guess it worked.”
After his life wasn’t in danger anymore, Ryan finished the rest of his brisket.
“Crazy,” Freeman said. “Hey, I guess that was some good brisket. He wasn’t about to let that go to waste. You can’t get between a man and his brisket. I get it.”