AUSTIN, Texas - All it took was a split second for one man's Chick-fil-A dinner to turn deadly Saturday night.
“I was wiping tables and then I heard the gentleman start to choke, and I saw the lady that was at the table next to him get up and start doing the Heimlich,” said Anita Duran who works in the dining room of the restaurant.
Duran ran to the kitchen to find the only employee she knew could help.
“I saw her struggling a little bit, so I ran to get Hunter,” Duran said.
“There was a lady previously in our kitchen that was choking and I gave her the Heimlich maneuver, so
I had felt that experience and understood the urgency of that situation,” said Hunter Harris, team leader at Chick-fil-A.
Although he has never been officially trained, Hunter jumped into action. He took over for another customer and performed the Heimlich maneuver several times.
“I did what I could do and everything worked out,” Harris said.
“To me, he's a hero,” said Duran.
“Well, if they feel that way, then I'm very grateful for that,” Harris said.
Hunter's quick thinking paid off. The customer coughed up a large chunk of his chicken sandwich and started breathing on his own again.
“He could've died,” Duran said.
Jamie Harris, Hunter's father and boss, said the customer who choked didn't let the experience scare him off.
“He kept eating, the video cuts off, but he stays and finishes his meal,” said Jamie, who owns the Chick-fil-A at Southpark Meadows.
“I told someone I didn't know whether to be more proud as his boss or as his dad, but I think his dad,” Jamie added.
Hunter said he's just happy everything turned out okay.
“It means a lot to me that he is okay, and that I'm glad that I was there in that position at that time to help him,” said Hunter.
Jamie said, because of the incident, he's planning to train the entire staff to respond when someone is choking.
He's also hoping the woman, who was trying to help save the choking man before Hunter stepped in, will identify herself so they can formally thank her.