Summer was over and Cassie was finally able to spend her first day at the beach by herself. The thought of being alone to enjoy the intoxicating atmosphere without interruption was like a fairytale come true. Before leaving the small path, she paused and breathed in deeply, letting the clean salt-air and the distinct smell of marsh grass and seaweed fill her lungs. With sandals in hand, she stepped into the soft dry sand and giggled as it squished up between her toes and surrounded them.
After frolicking for some time, Cassie strolled toward the water’s edge and marveled at the change in the texture of the sand. Unlike the warm dry area, the wet sand was cool, compact and firm against her feet. Again, she paused, this time listening to the waves gently lapping the shore in an alluring tranquil rhythm.
A woman’s sudden, desperate cry for help yanked Cassie out of her daydream. Without a moment’s hesitation, she scurried in the direction toward the woman.
“Help me, please!” the woman screamed when she spotted Cassie. “My husband choked on a piece of meat and passed out. I don’t know what to do.”
Cassie jammed her hand in her shoulder bag and pulled out her cell phone. “Here, call 911,” she commanded, then dropped to her knees and turned the man onto his side. When she got his mouth open, she gave a few whacks with her hand in between the man’s shoulder blades. Then she stuck her small hand in as far as possible. Luckily, her fingers reached the edge of the meat and she was able to dislodge the chunk. Wasting no time, she rolled him onto his back and immediately felt for the carotid artery in his neck while at the same time listened for breathing. Finding neither, she hurriedly began performing CPR.
After some very tense minutes, the man responded. Moments later, the EMT’s arrived and took over. She had saved his life. While everyone was congratulating her, one of the men accidentally kicked over her bag, spilling its contents onto the sand. It was then that they spotted the folding white cane and discovered Cassie was blind.
October 23, 2013