Woman saves choking neighbor in heroic moment caught on video

An Orange County man is grateful to be alive, thanks to his quick-thinking neighbor.

Billy Bass, of Waterford Lake, said he started choking on a piece of steak and knew he was about to pass out. Since he lives alone, he ran for help.

“I had my hands like this,” he said, gripping neck. “She opened the door immediately.”

It was all caught on Karen Aranda’s home surveillance security camera.

“When I opened the door, and I saw his face, I knew there was something wrong with him and had to react fast,” Aranda explained.

She immediately started to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

“Turn him around and just squeeze as hard as you can, and I didn’t know if it worked or not, and then my son is the one that said, ‘Oh it came out! It came out!”

“[She] as like an angel. Put the Heimlich on me and one or two thrusts, popped it out and I had breath,” Bass said.

“It was very hard to do. It’s the scariest thing. I work in the dental field, so I do take the CPR course. I’ve never ever used it on anybody,” Aranda added.

Never, until now.

“I call her the ‘Latina Wonder Woman,’ she was so strong!”

Bass is a middle school teacher who Aranda describes as very positive, adding, “his students love him, the community loves him.”

The two have been friends for more than 15 years.

“Thank God above that she was home. She’s a hero, she saved my life, she’s a blessing,” said Bass, who thanked Aranda with the gifts of flowers and beer.

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