McDonald’s Employee Jumps Out of Drive-Thru Window to Save Customer Choking on Chicken Nugget

By Darby Jones December 21, 2021
15-year-old Sydney Raley jumped through the McDonald's drive-thru window during her shift to save a woman who was choking on a chicken nugget.

On Saturday, a 15-year-old Sydney Raley clocked in for her shift at McDonald’s in Eden Prairie, just south of Minneapolis, expecting to have a normal day at work. Little did she know she would be saving someone’s life.

Raley was working the drive-thru when she noticed a woman choking on a chicken nugget, and she quickly jumped out of the window to help the woman. She performed the Heimlich maneuver and dialed 911. 

“She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging.” Sydney told CNN. “Her daughter was in the passenger seat and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew ‘Oh, no, she’s choking.”

The Heimlich maneuver did not seem to be working, so Raley asked a stranger to help her and the pair were able to successfully “dislodge the food from her throat.”

When the woman was finally able to breathe again, she thanked Raley for her actions. Raley later received $100 from Edina Police Department’s fund for those who do good deeds in the community.

Raley’s father told KARE 11 that his daughter is on the autism spectrum, adding that he is proud of how much she has accomplished. “I always tell her she has a gift, because she’s autistic,” Tom told KARE 11. “She can remember anything – do anything. It’s crazy.”

The owner of the Eden Prairie McDonald’s told USA TODAY they are “extremely proud” of how Sydney protected their customers. “Sydney truly personifies what it is to be a hero and we are incredibly lucky to have her as a highly-valued crew member at our Eden Prairie restaurant location. We are excited to see all of the well-deserved recognition she has received from the community and will continue to celebrate her courageous efforts of literally jumping out of the drive-thru window to provide aid to a customer in need,” Paul Ostergaard said.

As for Raley, she said she feels more capable to help people now. “You feel as though likeI’m actually capable of contributing to society and actually like capable of making a difference,” Raley told KARE 11.

Image source: NY Post, ABC 12