AUSTIN – Waco native and Chicago Bears Linebacker Jerrell Freeman is being credited with using the Heimlich maneuver to save a choking man at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Sunday.
Freeman told the Chicago Tribune that he had stopped at the Salt Lick Taco Bar for a chopped brisket sandwich when he noticed a man in distress. An older lady tried giving the man, who later identified himself as Marcus Ryan, the Heimlich but was not forceful enough.
Freeman said it took two attempts before Ryan was able to breathe again. The Tribune reported Freeman told Ryan he was heading to Chicago to report for Bears training camp, and that the two stopped for a photo that Freeman tweeted.
CRAZY!! Just saved my guy Marcus Ryan's life by using the Heimlich maneuver in the middle of the Austin airport! WOW Mom would be proud haha pic.twitter.com/yzgGw967iO— Jerrell Freeman (@JerrellFreeman) July 23, 2017
“I’ve never done the Heimlich before,” Freeman told the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t think I’ve had any training or anything. My mom’s a nurse and she had talked about it. So I just did what I heard you should do. I guess it worked.”
Freeman noted that Ryan went back to his meal after they talked, telling the Tribune in part, “You can’t get between a man and his brisket. I get it.”
Freeman’s bio on the National Football League’s website states he went to University High School in Waco and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.