Santa Clara County Worker Saves Life of Choking Man

While Johnny Cantero was carrying out his daily tasks at the Evans Lane Wellness and Recovery Center earlier this year, he noticed that one of the residents was coughing, choking, and gasping for air. The resident’s body started to shudder as he stood up pointing to his throat and pounding on his chest.

Johnny, an SEIU 521 Union Member and Community Worker at the site, immediately recognized the signs of distress, and sprang into action, performing the Heimlich maneuver. Soon after, the resident became responsive and started to breathe normally. The resident thanked Johnny for saving his life before he was transported to the Valley Medical Center.

The Evans Lane Wellness and Recovery Center is a community-based residential facility providing psychiatric treatment and rehabilitative services to adults who suffer from mental illness. The Center congratulated Johnny for his heroic action, which was featured in the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services newsletter.

“I was confident that I could help this man because I knew that my union colleagues would back me up,” said Johnny. He added: “I was not afraid to do everything I could to save this man’s life while at work.”

Being united together at our workplace means more than having good, union jobs so that we can provide for our families. It gives us a voice at work so that we can better serve our community without fear of retaliation.

Johnny Cantero

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