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Think Fast: How to Help Someone Who is Choking

This week, WIS-TV interviewed Dr. Don Moore of Lexington Medical Center’s Urgent Care in Irmo about how to help someone who is choking. The segment is below. The information is very valuable in a situation where you have to think fast.

Here are some notes from the doctor:

~When someone is choking, they will not be able to talk.
~Ask the person to try to cough.
~If the person cannot cough, try an abdominal thrust. From behind, put a clenched first above the person’s belly button and place your other hand over it. Pull up as if you were trying to lift the person off the ground, which will create a pressure wave to hopefully expel the object.
~If that doesn’t work, try back blows. With the base of your hand, hit the person on the back between the shoulder blades.
~Alternate between abdominal thrusts and back blows until the object is out.
~If the person goes unconscious, call 911 and start CPR.
~Anyone who has had a choking episode should see a physician to make sure they’re OK.

~If you’re alone, try performing an abdominal thrust by yourself with the help of a chair or table.

~If you have a baby who is choking, tip the child over and perform softer back blows.

Mama Sue’s Garden

Every spring, Mama Sue’s Garden at Carroll Campbell Place, Lexington Medical Center’s facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease, comes alive with beautiful new blooms.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation built the garden after a generous donation from someone with a personal connection there.

“Mama Sue” was Dora Sue Porth Spires. Born in 1921 and raised on a farm in Lexington County, she adored gardening and music.

“My mom could touch a flower and it would grow. She could grow roses – and grew them nicely,” said Betty McWhorter, Mama Sue’s daughter.

Mama Sue spent the last three years of her life as a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care, the hospital’s skilled nursing facility. When she passed away in 2000 after suffering from dementia, Mama Sue’s family wanted to find a way to honor her.

Betty McWhorter in Mama Sue's Garden at Carroll Campbell Place

Betty McWhorter in Mama Sue’s Garden at Carroll Campbell Place

At the time, McWhorter was a member of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation board of directors and plans were in place for a garden at Carroll Campbell Place.

Because Alzheimer’s patients have a tendency to wander, the garden was designed with pathways in continuous loops.

One side features a soothing and relaxing water feature. The other has speakers for outdoor music.
With a generous gift from Mama Sue’s family, the hospital’s Foundation dedicated the garden in 2002 and named it

“Mama Sue’s Garden,” honoring Mama Sue’s lifelong love of flowers, nature and music.

Family members can take their loved ones outside to the garden to enjoy each other’s company in a peaceful setting, where memories are precious.

“The garden is calming, serene and safe. It gives solace to family members,” McWhorter said. “And flowers can bring comfort when things seem the most difficult.”

Today, Mama Sue’s family encourages philanthropy in the community.

“When you can give outside yourself to a cause you believe in, it magnifies itself over and over. Let’s see what we can do together.”

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at

Heart & Sole Pictures!

There was a record crowd at the Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler on Saturday, April 25. More than 1,300 women participated, including more than 400 Lexington Medical Center employees. Here are some employees on Team LMC along the course!