INSIDE EDITION -- “I was so scared. I already lost my dad. What would I have done without my mom?”
Those were the thoughts running through the head of a Massachusetts 8-year-old when he saved his mom from choking to death.
Marie Hunt, 29, of Middleboro, told InsideEdition.com she was having breakfast two weeks ago with her son, Mikey, 8, and baby, 3-month-old Declan when she started choking on an oatmeal muffin.
She said she felt a piece of the food get lodged in her throat, and couldn’t breathe or get words out to call for help herself.
“First of all, I didn’t want to die,” Hunt said. “Secondly, my son is already just been through a huge trauma, losing his dad, and now to watch his mom gasping for air and can’t breathe... I was totally panicking.”
She explained it had only been 10 days since Michael O’Brien Sr., who Mikey is named after, died in a car accident.
But, little Mikey calmly took control of the situation. Hunt said she frantically pointed to her phone as she held her throat, and her son knew instinctively to call 911.
“He reported exactly how I was to the dispatcher until they got there,” Hunt recalled. “They said, ‘Can your mom breathe,’ and he walks over to the bathroom door and says, ‘Can you breathe?’ I shook my head no.”
Eventually, after several minutes of attempting to cough up the food, she was able to eventually dislodge the muffin as paramedics arrived.
“I was terrified, but [Mikey said], ‘Mom, I held it together and I was brave and I kept calm because I didn’t want you to panic,” the mom-of-two explained. “He’s a Cub Scout, and the Cub Scouts say you should always be aware of what’s going on around you, and to be prepared in case of emergencies.”
She explained it wasn’t the first time she had choked. In fact, she said she is a frequent choker and has lost count of how many times she had to receive the Heimlich maneuver.
“This isn’t a new problem,” Hunt said. “I don’t eat out at restaurants and when I do, it’s soup or something I can’t choke on.”
Hunt remembered the first time her dad performed the Heimlich maneuver on her in their front yard when she was 5-years-old.
When she had gone on her first date at 16 years old, she remembers choking on an onion ring: "I ran to the ladies’ room because I didn’t want my date to see me choking, and some lady gave me the Heimlich.”
The most recent time paramedics were called was when she was 27-weeks pregnant with her baby. She and Mikey, who was hysterically crying, had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance, she said.
“I have to stop procrastinating with my health,” she said.