Sheffield KFC manager saves 84-year-old customer's life after she chokes on chicken

An 84-year-old Sheffield woman says she owes her life to a quick-thinking KFC manager – who came to the rescue when she began choking on some chicken.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 16:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 20:30 pm
Frances Driver and Daniel Heaton.

Frances Driver, from Stannington, says Daniel Heaton, the manager of the fried chicken chain’s Penistone Road restaurant, saved her life by the calm way he responded to her medical emergency.

Reliving the horrifying experience, Frances’ daughter Glynis said the two had been out shopping but had not eaten, so went into KFC for a piece of chicken, some chips and a cup of tea.

She said: “Within a few seconds I just looked across and and thought she is choking. She must have been hungry and didn’t chew it properly.

“I got her into the ladies’ toilets and ran back out to say they needed to call an ambulance. Then I did the Heimlich manoeuvre and a bit of chicken came out but not a lot.

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It was at that point, Glynis said, that Daniel 'just appeared' and took over, performing the same manoeuvre on Frances twice until a big bit of chicken shot out and she could breathe again.

Glynis added: “He was really calm and really concerned about her. Not panicked or stressed. And in between all that he is on the phone to the ambulance as well.

“She is really impressed with him. She wants to do something to let people know what he has done. She gets really emotional about it. She says he saved her life.”

Daniel Heaton, team leader at KFC Hillsborough, said: “I was shocked when I saw the guest choking but knew immediately I had to do something as I saw how much she was struggling. I rushed forward and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre which thankfully I’d learned during training when I started at KFC.”

He said the dramatic incident, which happened last month, demonstrated the importance of knowing first aid skills.

“Our guests’ safety is a top priority for us, and knew I needed to remain calm in the situation and do anything I could to help. I’m really glad she is safe and hope to welcome her back to our restaurant soon.”

After saving Frances, unfazed Daniel went straight back behind the counter to deal with his other customers.