Skip Navigation

Joey Thomas' face turned suddenly calm and serious at the same time.

"Are you choking? Do you need me to help?" his mother, Susan, asked. Joey nodded. He wasn't breathing.

Before that moment, everything was normal: Oct. 26, 2010, ordinary night at home in Sandy with his mom and brother, fall in the air, Halloween candy at the ready.

But in an instant, the candy had become lodged in his throat. At first, Susan says, Joey made a gasp when the candy went down the wrong way. But when he failed to get it out, she asked her questions: "Are you choking? Do you need me to help?"

When he nodded, she glanced to her older son, Luke, and held a silent immediate conversation. They both knew what to do, so she gave the nod to Luke, who had learned the Heimlich maneuver as an 11-year-old Boy Scout.

"He acted at the speed of light," Susan says. "He followed the proper steps he learned in Scouts and out flew the candy!"
She added that there's a lot of comfort knowing she could have saved Joey if Luke hadn't been there.

"That candy hurt," Joey said afterward.

Emergencies come in all sizes. A simple accident could have turned deadly if Susan and Luke weren't prepared to react. Won't you take a moment to decide what you and your family will do today to be prepared for an emergency? Be Ready Utah is your partner in preparedness. Make a plan, get a kit, be informed, get involved.

If you found this news piece interesting, please consider sharing it through your social network.