A 15-year-old Minnesota girl is being hailed a hero after she saved a woman who was choking on a chicken nugget. Sydney Raley, who works at the Eden Prairie McDonald’s quickly jumped into action when she noticed the woman was choking. The teen went through the drive-thru window and was able to save her life.

According to reports, the alarming event happened Saturday as Raley was getting ready to end her shift. She said that she handed the woman a part of her order and stuck her head out the window to tell her that the rest of the food was coming when she noticed that the driver was having a hard time breathing.

“She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging,” Sydney said. “Her daughter was in the passenger seat, and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew, ‘Oh, no! She’s choking.’”

Sydney Raley is being called a hero after she saved a woman from choking on a chicken nugget. (Credit: KARE 11 YouTube)
Sydney Raley is being called a hero after she saved a woman from choking on a chicken nugget. (Credit: KARE 11 YouTube)

The 15-year-old employee quickly jumped through the drive-thru window to try to save the woman. She was able to get the choking woman out of the car and with the help of a bystander they successfully dislodged the chicken nugget from the woman’s throat.

The teen had learned the Heimlich maneuver when she was 11 years old through a babysitting course and her training made all the difference. The woman’s daughter called 911, and soon Edina police were there to make sure the woman was safe.

According to the teen, two officers from the Eden Police Department gave her $100 for her good deed. The money came from a town fund that rewards the good work done by members of the community. Sydney Raley was surprised by the gift.

“‘They said, ‘Congratulations you’re a lifesaver; you’re a hero.'” Sydney said.

According to the Eden Police Department, every officer carries $50 with them, and they are allowed to give the money to whoever they see fit.

Eden Prairie Police Sergeant Scott Mittelstadt said, “Our crime fund gave every officer fifty dollars to hand out to wherever we feel the need, [including] if somebody did outstanding work, above and beyond. She is well-deserving of that money.”

A 15-year-old employee of a Minnesota McDonald's jumped out a drive thru window to save a choking woman. (Credit: Tom Raley)
A 15-year-old employee of a Minnesota McDonald’s jumped out a drive thru window to save a choking woman. (Credit: Tom Raley)

When Sydney Raley’s parents came to pick her up, they became concerned with the ambulance and police cars in the McDonald’s parking lot. Sydney’s father, Tom Raley, talked to CNN and said, “There was an ambulance and a police car sitting there, and I looked at my wife and said, ‘Please tell me that’s not something for Sydney. And sure enough, Sydney is sitting outside waiting for us to pick her up and says, ‘So this happened today.’”

After learning about their daughter’s life-saving actions, the parents couldn’t stop gushing about her. They said that they were very proud of Sydney and what she did to save the choking customer. According to the Raleys they were worried about Sydney starting her job at McDonald’s seven months ago because she has autism.

They said, “We always worried it was going to be a challenge for her, and it’s done a complete 180. It’s actually been a blessing and a gift at this point. All the things we worried about never happened.”

While the 15-year-old is being praised by her parents, her boss, and the community for her incredible lifesaving actions, the person that is most proud of Sydney Raley is herself. The young girl said that she learned a lot about herself after saving that woman.

She said, “[I] Feel as though…I’m actually capable of contributing to society and actually like capable of making a difference.”