Reach CRC Staff Taps Into Training to Save a Life

September 21st, 2015

On Thursday, September 17th Reach CRC staff member Francesca Pierre’s quick thinking saved program participant Patrick Valdellon’s life.

During lunch time, Patrick began choking on his food.  Francesca immediately asked fellow staff members to call for help and began performing the Heimlich maneuver.  After several attempts, she successfully dislodged a piece of chicken nugget that had been blocking his airway.

“What went through my mind [in that moment] is ‘No, this is not going to happen.  Not on my watch.  You’re going to be okay.  No matter what, you’re going to be okay,’” said Pierre following the day’s events.  “I just tried to contain myself, think step-by-step through the trainings [provided by The Arc], and remember what I was taught in order to deliver the way I delivered.”

“Francesca’s quick thinking and reaction saved Patrick’s life,” said Sergeant Paul Stabile of the Caldwell Police Department in a letter of commendation following the event. “I would like to thank her for how she reacted in a stressful situation.”

The Arc of Essex County would like to recognize the dedication and care Francesca delivers to her program participants each day and thank her for her quick response to save Patrick’s life.