NEW YORK, NY — A Queens diner owner used the skills his daughter taught him to save another couple’s child.
Isaac Paschalidis is used to hearing the sounds of his grill at his East Elmhurst diner. He’s not used to hearing cries for help, but all of that changed Sunday night.
“All of a sudden I heard the woman screaming ‘my baby, my baby, my baby is dying,’” Paschalidis, owner of the Jackson Hole Diner said.
Video surveillance captured the dramatic moments as the young girl began to choke on bacon inside the Jackson Hole on Astoria Boulevard.
Her mother is seen jumping out of her chair to help, then quickly running into the front counter area of the diner to get backup. It was a responsibility Paschalidis eagerly accepted.
“I was in the right place at the right time, usually I am not here at that time.”
The diner owner quickly jumped into action.
“I was praying that she wouldn’t die in my hands.”
Performing the Heimlich maneuver on the girl, he gave her at least a dozen abdominal thrusts while a waitress standing close by called 911.
“I kept going and going and I was never going to stop,” Paschalidis added.
“I said I have to do anything in my power to save this girl’s life.”
That’s exactly what he did. The girl was crying to her mother right after the food came out and her mother was doing the same.
“She was crying because everything went well and her baby was alive.”
Paschalidis says he has no idea who the family is. He never saw them before. He was also never professionally trained to perform the Heimlich.
“My daughter is a doctor, so she taught me how to do that stuff, so I knew exactly what I was doing,” the diner owner explained.
His daughter’s coaching is the reason this family’s daughter is alive, making that family’s goodbye hug even sweeter.