Football aside, acquiring First Aid training might be the best play Randy Chevrier ever made.
The humble Stamps’ long snapper possibly saved the life of a choking three-year-old at a Winnipeg food court on Wednesday.
Chevrier said it was the mother’s voice that drew his attention as he, linebacker Tim St. Pierre and defensive back Eric Fraser sat eating chow at a food court across the street from their team’s hotel.
“Maybe it’s because I have kids. I could hear it was a parent-panicking kind of moment,” Chevrier recalled.
All three men turned around and recognized there was something very wrong with the child, whose head had rolled backwards.
Chevrier jumped out of his seat. He could tell the boy was choking by the look on his face.
“I bent him over and gave him two Heimlich thrusts and a big piece of pepperoni covered in cheese flew out of his mouth on to his tray,” Chevrier said.
The panic subsided and the boy recovered his breath, eventually settling down.
After that, Chevrier worked to console the child’s mother.
She had just finished a first aid course the previous week.
“I should have known what to do,” she told Chevrier.
“‘I just can’t believe I didn’t know what to do,’ and I just reassured her it happens to everybody, you know? I have kids, too,” Chevrier said.
It wasn’t a year ago the long snapper found himself in a similar predicament.
The family was eating dinner at Nick’s Steakhouse across the street from McMahon Stadium when something befell his own son, Brett, just two years old at the time.
“We rushed him home and by the time we got home he had a seizure.”
Chevrier said he hadn’t a clue what to do.
“When I told the doctor the things I did, I did every no-no on the list,” he said.
“You lose your cool when it’s your own kid.
“When I saw this kid, I saw my kid’s face on him.”
The excursion to Winnipeg turned out pretty good for the Stampeders, who notched a 21-20 win over the Blue Bombers on Thursday.
And what about saving a child’s life?
“Yeah, that was pretty cool,” he said.
“I feel like it’s being made a bigger deal than it is. I’m just glad I was able to help.”