"She reacted very fast," Lauren Horch's colleague said of her efforts
A wedding photographer in Canada did more than just take pictures at one recent wedding by saving a guest's life.
Lauren Horch, an award-winning and published photographer with Tkshotz, recently had to set her camera down to help someone in dire need, reports Global News. While seated at a table with the groom’s uncle at a Canmore, Alberta wedding, she noticed he seemed to be struggling.
The man was choking on food that had become lodged in his throat, according to the outlet.
“He was tearing up, and wasn’t able to get it out, and was having a hard time breathing,” Horch, 38, told Global News of the harrowing situation.
Todd Zwiczak, her associate at Tkshotz, added, “I think everybody was shocked. Everything moved so fast, and she reacted very fast, right? Like, she didn’t even delay at all.”
Leaping into action, Horch began by forcefully applying pressure to the man’s back. When that didn’t work, she tried doing abdominal thrusts.
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“Thankfully, he was able to get it out on, I think it was the third thrust,” the photographer said. She noted that he did do a bit of coughing afterwards, but in the end, he was “very grateful.”
Horch told the outlet that a babysitting course she’d taken two decades ago is where she learned the life-saving technique.
“It’s been a number of years since I’ve done my last training,” she admitted with a smile, but the recent scare has “inspired” her to take a refresher.
Horch also confessed that her children keep her on her toes. “I’ve got kids, so I’ve always kind of walked myself through, mentally, like what would happen if they were choking," she told Global News.
PEOPLE reached out to Horch for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
The owner of the photography company stated that given the high volume of people who usually attend weddings, photographers and others in the industry should always be prepared and know what to do in case of an emergency.
Ben Marasco, the founder of First Aid Calgary, told Global News that only a very small percentage of people tend to know what to do if someone needs help, and “only about 20% of Canadians have done a first aid course in the last three years.”
He said it’s typical to see people panic when others start to choke and the scene can quickly become stressful and chaotic — the opposite of what needs to happen when attempting to save someone’s life.
Marasco added that another common mistake is that others assume someone else will help.
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