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Heroic Teen McDonald's Worker Leaps Through Drive-Thru Window to Save Customer's Life

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Everyday heroes appear in the times and places where we least expect them, and often with backgrounds that astound us.

Take Sydney Raley of Edina, Minnesota.

The 15-year-old was making it through her shift at the Eden Prairie McDonald’s on Saturday, just as she had every shift before since she started working over the summer.

Then, amid the hustle of the drive-thru window, she saw something she did not like one bit as she took a good look at one customer, according to KARE-TV in Minneapolis.

“I noticed that she was coughing profusely and her daughter just had this look on her face like sheer terror,” Raley said. “I could tell ‘oh, crap, she’s choking!’ Just seeing that visceral reaction I knew, ‘we need to act fast.'”

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It had been four years since Raley took Red Cross first aid training when she wanted to start babysitting, but she recalled what needed to be done.

“I jumped out the window of the drive-thru and I got her out of the car and I told her daughter to call 911. I started doing the Heimlich maneuver, but I’m not really strong so it didn’t work the first couple times.”

Raley summoned help in the form of a customer who was parked nearby who helped loosen the chicken nugget upon which the woman was choking.

“It could’ve ended a lot worse but I am super thankful for that bystander who helped so much,” said Raley. “Because I am decent at first aid, but if it weren’t for him and our efforts together, it could’ve ended so much worse.”

When police responded, they decided that fast action to do the right thing deserved a reward, and each gave Raley $50.

Do we need to celebrate hometown heroes like Sydney Raley?

“We could use more of her in this world,” Eden Prairie Police Sgt. Scott Mittelstadt told KARE.

“Our crime fund gave every officer $50 to hand out to wherever we feel the need; if somebody did outstanding work, above and beyond. She is well-deserving of that money.”

Raley’s parents added a layer to the story by noting that she is autistic.

“I always tell her she has a gift, because she’s autistic,”  Tom Raley, her father, told KARE. “She can remember anything – do anything. It’s crazy.”

Raley’s mom, Stephanie, told the station that her daughter recalls things in the form of scripts.



“She remembered all of the training as a script in her head and was able to jump into action right away, just because it was stored up there and she can recall anything she reads and hears,” Stephanie Raley said.

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Raley called it “insane” that she was given a reward.

“You feel as though like, ‘Huh, I’m actually capable of contributing to society and actually like capable of making a difference,’” she told KARE.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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