Quick-thinking nursing student saves Olive Garden employee’s life in Gastonia

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GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – One local nursing student jumped in to save an Olive Garden employee who was choking.

“I’ve been taught how to do it,” said Madeline Hare. “I need to put my hands here, I need to do this. It just kind of happened.”

For all of 23-year-old Madeline Hare’s life, her older sister Brittany has been by her side. “She’s six years older,” said Madeline.

But when Brittany was in the hospital in 2014, it was Madeline’s turn to be there.

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“She was coming out of intubation, she was freaking out, my mom panicked, I jumped in and was like, it’s okay,” said Madeline.

During the months that followed, Madeline took care of Brittany, realizing she had a knack for nursing.

“It’s just kind of been a passion of mine and I’ve just done everything I can with it,” said Madeline.

Seven years later, Madeline is about to graduate from nursing school. She was celebrating with her co-workers last Thursday at Olive Garden.

“Somebody ran out from the kitchen and they said, is there a nurse? Is there a nurse?” said Madeline.

She said, she followed her teacher who was in the kitchen and saw that someone was choking. She immediately started performing the Heimlich.


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“I wasn’t even thinking. I was just kind of doing,” said Madeline.

Her quick thinking saved his life.

“It feels crazy for sure, it hasn’t set in. Everyone keeps saying you’ve saved someone’s life. I don’t feel special or anything, anybody in that situation would have done the same thing,” said Madeline.

After everything was done, she had one person she wanted to tell. Brittany.

“It’s something really special,” said Madeline.

She said, there’s a reason why things happen. What started out as something so difficult all those years ago, helped her be in the exact place she needed to be.

“I’m glad that something good came from the experience,” said Madeline. “It goes to show that everything happens for a reason, I’m a firm believer in that.”

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