PARAMUS, N.J. -- A quick-thinking waitress saved the life of a 9-year-old girl in Paramus who was choking. The waitress heard the girl's screams and rushed to help, CBS New York reports.
"I was thinking I was going to be either in the hospital or dead," said Kye Rodgers.
Rodgers said she will never forget the terrifying seconds, as she and her family ate chicken fingers at the Chili's restaurant in Paramus recently. All of a sudden, Rodgers started to choke.
Rodgers' mother, Tara Harvey, was next to her. She knew how to do the Heimlich maneuver, but she panicked.
"She just had this look in her eyes like, 'Mommy, please help me!' and it was like nothing I can do," Harvey said.
"I drank something, but then it just started getting worse and worse, so then I started choking," Rodgers added.
That was when waitress Dina Gonzalez stepped in.
As Gonzalez heard all the commotion from the other side of the restaurant, she came running right over to Rodgers' table. The girl was still choking, and Gonzalez performed the Heimlich, saving Rodgers' life.
"I put my hands on her stomach kind of and just pushed three like times -- and the food came out," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said it was all instinct. Her uncle, who is a firefighter, had taught her the maneuver.
"You just act, like, right away," she said. "Nothing you know, like, I didn't see that coming, so it was just like really fast."
After Rodgers caught her breath, Gonzalez gave her a hug.
"I just think it was amazing how she came out of nowhere and saved me," Rodgers said. "I mean, I love her."
"It really touches my heart," added Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is being described as a real-life superhero, with everything but the cape. But the waitress said she just did what she had to do.
"In my eyes, I don't see it like you know, such a big deal, like you know, but yeah, it's pretty special to know that you helped somebody," Gonzalez said.
Rodgers' mother said she hopes Gonzalez stays in her daughter's life forever, including graduations right through college.
Gonzalez said she has been working at that Chili's restaurant for 11 years, and it was her first time using the Heimlich maneuver on anyone.
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