Waitress Helps Save Choking Nun In Milford

MILFORD (CBS) – Waitress Lisa Ferreira jokingly wonders if her weekend deed will help at the pearly gates.

“Does this get me in? Do I get a free pass?” asked Ferreira with a smile.

It was Saturday at the 99 Restaurant in Milford when Lisa helped save 77-year-old Ann Donohoe who was dressed in street clothes. No one knew she was a retired nun of six decades.

“I’m glad I didn’t know that,” says Ferreira.

Donohoe came in to eat lunch with her sister by blood, Joan Callahan, when the first bite of steak became stuck in her throat.

“She doesn’t remember,” says Joan. “She doesn’t recollect any of it because she really lost consciousness very quickly.”

It wasn’t Lisa’s table but she spotted trouble and took charge.

She tried the Heimlich, as did a customer and a cook, but quickly changed to CPR when it failed to dislodge the meat. Sister Ann, who did not have a pulse, turned purple.

“You’re not dying on my time, that’s what was going through my mind,” says Ferreira. “This is not happening.”

So Lisa stuck with it for several minutes that seemed like hours as half the folks in the place rallied around.

“They were wonderful,” says Joan. “I wouldn’t have known what to do if they didn’t help me.”

Arriving paramedics plucked out the steak, but credited Lisa’s determined CPR with saving sister Donohoe, who is plenty sore but recovering enough to thank Lisa on the phone.

Donohoe told Lisa, “My entire life was in the palm of your hands.”

The waitress won’t mind if her next few shifts are more mundane, even as Sister Ann’s family prays that Lisa’s heroics actually do help with St. Peter.

“That will give her a few points I’m sure,” says Callahan.

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