A shopping centre worker who saved the life of a three-year-old girl after she choked on a chicken nugget has been hailed a hero.
Little Millie Wise lost consciousness and was starting to turn blue after the nugget blocked her windpipe while she was enjoying a treat at McDonald’s in Middleton Grange shopping centre with her nana Sandra Longmoor.
First aider Steve Dawking, 42, tried several times to dislodge the blockage without success.
Finally, the nugget came out, and Steve was later told by medics if it had been just five seconds longer Millie may not have survived.
He said: “When I arrived Millie was past the choking stage and was unconscious. I leaned her over and slapped her on the back four times. There was still no response.
“I had one last chance to remove the blockage. I slapped her with as much power as I could given she is a small child and thank God it came out.
We don’t think of ourselves as heroes, we just do our job as a teamSteve Dawking, first aider
“It came out like a bullet and was a full chicken nugget.”
Security officer Steve praised the speed of colleague Adam Goodwin in the control room for being able to reach Millie so quickly.
Security supervisor Adam located Millie on just one camera covering a large area and called for an ambulance and dispatched other staff and a medical bag.
Adam said: “It was a heart-racing moment.”
Steve added: “Without him we could have been talking about something totally different.”
Millie came round and went to hospital but thankfully suffered no after effects of her ordeal last Tuesday.
Grandmother Sandra, 62, of Springwell Park, Hartlepool, said: “I was petrified. What Steve did was brilliant, fantastic. He saved her life.
“I appreciate what the pair of them did.”
Modest Steve said: “We don’t think of ourselves as heroes, we just do our job as a team.”
Millie’s mum Claire Wise, 35, who is married to Glen Wise, said: “I am so thankful to Steve for saving my daughter’s life and we are eternally grateful for his actions.
“I would also like to thank the other security guards, staff and members of the public who also helped because without them I couldn’t imagine what could have happened.”
Suzanne Chaney, Middleton Grange retail executive, said: “We are so proud of the guys.
“It was through their quick responses and reactions that everything kicked in that saved her.”