Heimlich hero saves a life

A light lunch almost turned into a last meal for Donald Robinson, on Tuesday. "I sat down and was enjoying my lunch and all of a sudden I took a bite; I didn't chew it good enough and it got stuck in the middle of my throat," he said.

A light lunch almost turned into a last meal for Donald Robinson, on Tuesday.

“I sat down and was enjoying my lunch and all of a sudden I took a bite; I didn’t chew it good enough and it got stuck in the middle of my throat,” he said. He tried to wash it down with a sip of water but he couldn’t swallow, and that’s when he knew he was choking.

Luckily his son-in-law, Jordon VanderMeer, noticed what was happening and sprang into action.

“It happened so quick, half of us at the table didn’t even know what was going on,” said Donald’s daughter Trinda Robinson. “All I really remember is my dad pointing at his throat and that’s when VanderMeer jumped right up and started doing the Heimlich.”

Donald said that without VanderMeer’s quick thinking, he’d probably be “on the floor dead.”

But VanderMeer said he wasn’t thinking at all when he did it.

“It just sort of happened,” he said.

If he had thought about it, VanderMeer said he probably would have hesitated.

Though trained in first aid, he’s never had to put it into practice.

“I never even had to wrap up a finger,” he said.

But when he saw his father-in-law struggling to breathe, the training kicked in.

He jumped up, pushed passed his uncle and grabbed his father-in-law from behind.

It took a couple tries to get everything out.

It happened so fast there was no chance to call for an ambulance or even a waitress.

“I was like, running around the whole freaking restaurant trying to find a waitress so that I can get somebody to help my dad but there’s only so much you can so in so little time,” said Trinda.

Afterwards, Donald spent a few minutes throwing up, which is a common side effect of receiving the Heimlich.

They tried to take him to the hospital but he refused to go.

It was a terrifying experience, said Donald.

“I’m just very thankful that he was there,” he said. “(VanderMeer) kind of really saved my life there.

“I guess his first aid course really paid off.”

And that experience has got Trinda thinking about renewing her own first aid certificate. It’s something she plans to do as soon as they get back to Beaver Creek.

“I’m going to do that next week,” she said.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read