Dallas Councilwoman Saves Choking Man's Life - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Councilwoman Saves Choking Man's Life

Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, a registered nurse, says she is just happy to help



    Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates gave CPR to a man who was in distress after choking at a Dallas restaurant. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013)

    A Dallas city councilwoman saved the life of a fellow diner who had a medical emergency inside a restaurant.

    "I'm just glad I was able to help and that the outcome was good," said Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, who is a registered nurse and the daughter of NFL Hall of Famer and Dallas Cowboy legend Roger Staubach.

    Gates was just finishing up her salmon dinner at The Mercury at the corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane when her waiter approached with an urgent question.

    "Our waiter had come to the table and said, 'Is anybody here trained medically?'" she said.

    A man in the back of the restaurant appeared to be choking, and other patrons were already trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

    Gates, who has not worked full time in health care for 20 years, began assessing the man and determined that he did not appear to have a pulse.

    "He was in distress," she said. "I was really worried about him."

    Gates and other people in the restaurant helped move the man to the floor, and she then began administering CPR for what she estimates to be between two to three minutes.

    Finally, the man lurched, began to vomit and began to breathe, she said.

    "She really was a hero," said Moe Shayeghi, manager of The Mercury, who witnessed the entire incident.

    Paramedics arrived and the man, at the urging of Gates, was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

    The man is the father-in-law of a server at The Mercury, Shayeghi said. He is home now and recovering from the ordeal.

    "Without a doubt, without a doubt, if she wasn't here that night, I don't think the outcome would be the same," Shayeghi said. "I think he would have been gone. She saved a life."

    For her part, Gates does not agree with the "hero" claim.

    "I'm just relieved I was able to help," she said. "I was comfortable with my past training, and I could make a difference. But, again, I think anybody with that background would have stepped in and done the same thing."