Skip to content
Home » The teenage McDonald’s employee jumped out of the car window to save the customer from drowning in a chicken nugget

The teenage McDonald’s employee jumped out of the car window to save the customer from drowning in a chicken nugget

"We are incredibly proud."  McDonald's owner and operator Paul Ostergaard told CNN.
When Sydney Riley, 15, walked into her turn Saturday at a McDonald’s in Eden Prairie, a few miles south of Minneapolis, she didn’t expect to be passed over as a hero.

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.

After delivering part of his food to a customer self-service, Sidney climbed out the window again to let him know that the rest was on their way. That’s when Sydney realizes the woman is drowning with a chicken nugget.

“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.

Sidney told CNN that she took a Red Cross babysitting class at age 11, where she learned the Heimlich maneuver, and “all that training started immediately.”

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.

"We are incredibly proud."  McDonald's owner and operator Paul Ostergaard told CNN.

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.

Sidney Riley received $100 from two Edina Police Department officers.

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.”

A Taco Bell employee saved a man's life after he passed out in a car
Tom also told CNN that he was diagnosed with Sydney autism when he was younger.

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…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.