WAYLAND, Mich. -- A rescue in Michigan started more than 800 miles away in Massachusetts Saturday when a mother reached out for help for her choking 16-year-old son.
High school sophomore Andrew Rock says he hopes to become a K9 officer one day. Saturday his dreams were almost put on hold.
"It was really scary," he said.
His mother Michele Rock says they sat down to eat dinner Saturday, when Andrew started choking on barbecued chicken. With her phone recently stolen, she says she tried to first stay calm and use the Heimlich.
"That’s what I was doing: trying as a mom to stay calm, and trying to remember everything that I learned in life-saving," she said.
Panic set in when her son continued choking. Rock says she screamed for help from inside her home, but didn't want to leave her son's side. With her iPad close-by, she turned to Facebook and messaged who she thought was the Wayland, Mich. Fire Department, but accidentally messaged the fire department in Wayland, Mass.
More than 800 miles away, Massachusetts firefighter William Tyree happened to be monitoring the department's Facebook.
"Once we got the ambulance dispatched to her, I got back on the messenger app and tried to communicate with her," said Tyree. "[Tried] and walk her through some instructions if she was having trouble with the Heimlich and give her some pre-arrival instructions before the ambulance got there."
Tyree and first responders in Wayland, Mass. immediately connected with firefighters in Wayland, Mich.
"It’s amazing how somebody from 800 miles away would, ‘Oh let’s look up their phone number and dial it and see if somebody answers,’ and luckily we were here," said Wayland Fire Department Chief Joe Miller.
With quick thinking and luck on their side, the Rocks say thank you from Massachusetts to Michigan.
"I am really thankful for what you guys had done," said Andrew Rock.
As for his mother's phone, she says she's getting her replacement on Tuesday.