Saturday was a busy day at the Windmill Ridge. During one of the restaurant and lodging facility’s meal Jan. 11, a guest was seen choking on her food. Bystanders looked on trying to help the victim cough out the food, but it didn’t work.
Another woman was seen trying to perform the Heimlich with the victim still sitting.
Luckily, Brandon Peterson, grandson of one of Caliente’s former City Clerks, Ines Thomas, and also doctor, was present enjoying a meal himself with his wife and 18-month-old daughter. Peterson was able to have the victim stand, and performed the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food, receiving thanks from the guests and visitors.
“She wasn’t panicking at all, and I saw her pointing to her throat,” he said. “I knew when I heard her start talking, it was dislodged.”
As a doctor, Peterson admitted that the Heimlich was, “something I’ve never had to do before.” Perterson was coming back from visiting his family in Elko. The Windmill Ridge is the halfway stop for the return to San Diego where the Peterson’s reside.
As a pathologist, Peterson doesn’t get the opportunity to see patients face to face. Most of his job entails examining biopsies of patients, diagnosing diseases and performing autopsies.
Peterson told the Lincoln County Record, “There’s nothing special about what I did or who I am.” He tells people to look into what classes are available in the county, for CPR training, or basic first aid.
“A janitor could do what I did if they were properly trained,” he said.
Peterson is in active duty, as a Lt. MC, USN (Lieutenant Medical Corps, U.S. Navy). He is in his third year as a pathology residence, and although he might not deal with patients on a regular basis, the military keeps him trained on all skills of medical emergencies, just like the one he performed on Saturday, to be deployed as a general medical officer.