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CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) – An ordinary lunch at Auburn Career Center in Concord Township became a life and death situation for a Lake County woman.

Mary Feathers has worked at the school since the pandemic, cleaning and sanitizing the building.

She was on break eating pizza when a piece became stuck in her throat Tuesday afternoon and she couldn’t breathe.

“I mean, it was really quick,” said Feathers. “I was kind of panicking a little bit.”

But she knew where to go and ran to a nearby office where Lake County deputy sheriff and school resource officer Mike Reed was eating his lunch.

“It was clear she was in respiratory distress. I could tell that right away,” said Reed. “She already started to turn red.”

Deputy Reed, who has been with the department for more than 30 years, quickly turned Mary around and performed the Heimlich maneuver twice, immediately opening her airway.

“He just went around and it popped,” said Mary. “It was a sigh of relief.”

“She cried for a few minutes and I asked her if she was okay and everything, she caught her breath,” Deputy Reed said.

The SRO then followed Mary to the hospital to make sure she was OK, which she was.

She even returned to work Wednesday and shared the story with everyone at school and with the sheriff’s office, because she says Deputy Reed definitely saved her life. 

 “I am so glad that he was right there because I don’t know what I would’ve done if he wasn’t there,” said Feathers. “He is a hero.”

But Deputy Reed says he was just in the right place at the right time and glad he could help.

“I surely don’t feel like a hero or anything, it’s just what we do,” said Reed. “I did tell my wife about it and she thought it was kind of exciting and it’s not every day I guess you get to save someone’s life, so it was pretty cool I guess.”

Mary also contacted county leaders and it seems they agree with her too.

She says Lake County commissioners plan to honor Deputy Reed at a ceremony on May 18.