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Officer saves 88-year-old choking woman

April 19, 2011 3:31:49 AM PDT
An elderly woman was reunited with the young police officer who saved her life in Westwood, New Jersey.

The woman choked on food at a birthday party.

Some folks at the party tried to help, but couldn't.

That's when the patrolman ran in, saved the day and saved her life.

"I was honestly sure I was going to die. I was thinking what a dumb way to die," Marge Rosenbauer said.

Rosenbauer believed April 16, 2011 was going to be her last day on this earth.

The 88-year-old Hilldale woman was at a birthday party Saturday night when all of a sudden she felt a piece of chicken lodged in her throat.

"I knew immediately what was happening. I looked at Mary and said (shows throat)," Rosenbauer said.

Her close friend tried to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, and then a nurse and another man took over.

They called 911.

Moments later, Westwood patrolman Scott McNiff arrived at the banquet hall.

"She was flat on her back. She was unconscious. Her lips were charcoal gray. Her skin was blue. Her eyes were fixed open. I knew she wasn't getting air," McNiff said.

McNiff did at least 40 chest compressions and performed the Heimlich about six times.

Marge wasn't breathing and it didn't look good.

"I could see she was breathing a little bit. Her eyes opened," McNiff said.

"There are people that should not leave before their time. She's an amazing person," said Mary Musella, Marge's friend said.

The mother and grandmother said if it wasn't for Scott she would not be here today.

She called his police chief and just about everyone who would listen.

"A mere thank you just isn't enough when someone saves your life," Rosenbauer said.

Marge wants everyone to chew their food carefully.

She says what happened to her could happen to anyone young or old.

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