Hero waitress saves choking customer’s life at Golden Corral in Alexandria

A family lunch to the Golden Corral in Alexandria almost turned into a tragedy when a Leesville customer started to choke.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A family lunch to the Golden Corral in Alexandria almost turned into a tragedy when a Leesville customer started to choke.

“I kept thinking, I’m about to die here in front of my kids by a piece of steak,” said Kelcey Stevens, whose life was saved at the restaurant.

Stevens and his family love Golden Corral. He calls it their “go-to spot.” On a recent Saturday after a monster truck show, he and his wife brought their three children to the Alexandria location for lunch. On the menu - a rare steak. But, it was a bit chewier than expected.

“It made its way to the back of my throat and I panicked,” he said.

Stevens started to choke. The Golden Corral, with the permission of Stevens, shared a security video of the incident with News Channel 5. The video shows his 14-year-old son noticing him choking first. His son attempted the Heimlich maneuver. But, he wasn’t having any luck. He wasn’t quite hitting the right spot. Video next captures a waiter stepping in to try to help. But, the waiter wasn’t having any luck either. Stevens was running out of oxygen and time.

“I was completely helpless,” he said. “It’s crazy because you don’t think much of choking, but choking is no joke. It can be over like that.”

Stevens’ wife, who was at the buffet at the time he started choking, notices. Video captured her running over to the table. Just when it looks like hope is lost, a miracle comes running in: Carla Jones, a waitress at another table.

“He was almost passed out,” said Jones, who has been working at the restaurant for about a year. “I said let me jump in here and give him some help.”

“She knew exactly what to do,” said Stevens.

Jones gave Stevens two thrusts right up under his rib cage.

“Like motherly instincts,” Jones said of the rescue. “I ran over there and I did it two times. Picked him up two times and the steak popped out.”

“Ms. Carla, I don’t remember her taking over at all,” Stevens told us. “It was like a transition from feeling like I was about to die, to it’s over. I feel great. It’s gone.”

Her co-workers called her a superhero. Afterward, Jones just went straight back to work.

“I was happy to save him, happy to save a life,” she said.

Stevens made sure to track her down to properly thank her. His family also did a little something for Jones to reward her for her good work in private. He also placed a call to the corporate office of Golden Corral. Now, these two have a special bond.

“You were going limp. I had to jump in there and try to save you,” Jones said as she embraced Stevens at a reunion at the restaurant.

And, Golden Corral had a customer for life.

“I already have been a customer for life, but now I guess I’m locked and loaded in,” said Stevens.

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