Sidney has been working at McDonald’s for about seven months and told CNN it was just another routine weekend shift. “The day was mostly normal: making coffee, making drinks. Going in at lunch time, everything was normal,” she says.
“I was coughing like crazy, and I realized I was seasick.” Sidney told CNN. “His daughter was in the passenger seat and she looked so scared. I knew right away, ‘Oh, no, she’s drowning.’
Sidney ordered both his manager and the woman’s daughter to call 911 as he quickly jumped out the window to help the woman.
The maneuver didn’t work the first time Sydney tried it, so she asked a bystander to help her.
“We worked together and we were able to successfully remove the food from their throats.” Sydney said.
Eventually, the lump was released and the woman was able to breathe again. Then the woman was shocked but very grateful to Sidney.
Two officers from the Edina Police Department then arrived at the scene to check on the woman, and put out a reward for the teenager.
He said, ‘Congratulations, you are a lifeguard; You are a hero,” Sydney said. They gave him $100 from a fund they use for people who do good in the community.
It was the first time I had to do a maneuver but I knew the seriousness of it and was always prepared.
Around the corner were his parents, Tom and Stephanie, who were on their way to find him.
“There was an ambulance and a police car sitting there and I looked at my wife and I said, ‘Please tell me it’s nothing to Sydney,'” Tom told CNN. Sidney is sitting outside waiting for us to pick him up and says, “It happened today.”
Autism is a spectrum of conditions marked by challenges with communication and social skills. “We were always worried it would be a challenge for him, and it’s been a total 180,” Tom told CNN. “It’s actually a blessing and a gift right now. All the things that worried us never happened.
And his employer also recognizes the importance of his actions.
“We are incredibly proud of Sydney and her quick and brave actions over the weekend to help one of our valued customers.” Owner and operator Paul Ostergaard told CNN in a written statement.
“Sydney truly embodies what it’s like to be a hero and we’re incredibly lucky to have…