On Sept. 22, Clayton Cadieux received two loonies as allowance from his parents, Robert and Kristine Cadieux.
But instead of using the coins to buy candy at the Cornwall Civic Complex, he tried to swallow them while watching the River Kings hockey practice.
Clayton began to choke. Robert tried to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre but it was unsuccessful, then he tried to reach in his son’s throat for the loonies, but that did not work.
“I didn’t know what to do. I just panicked and I started yelling at my husband. I’m like, ‘Oh my God he’s choking, he’s choking,’” said Kristine Cadieux.
Then Andrew Vink, a local tow truck driver, ran over and he started the Heimlich manoeuvre. Soon after, Clayton began to cough.
“On the way to the ambulance, Clayton said, ‘Am I going to die?’” Robert Cadieux remembered. “I said, ‘Not today, buddy.”
An X-ray at the Cornwall Community Hospital showed the coins deep down in Cadieux’s throat. Then ORNGE air ambulance took Clayton to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa for surgery.
The family did not realize that Vink's action had, in fact, saved their son. And, they also didn't know who Vink was until Saturday, when the Cornwall tow truck driver met the Cadieuxs at their home.
He also gave Clayton a ride in a giant tow truck.