On Sunday, July 23, Chicago Bears football player Jerrell Freeman saved a man from choking on Salt Lick brisket at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman was killing time while waiting for a delayed flight back to Chicago when he decided to enjoy some authentic Texas barbecue. So he found himself following his nose to the Salt Lick Taco Bar where he ordered a chopped brisket sandwich.
Right when he prepared to attack the loaded sandwich, he noticed a nearby man who appeared to be in distress.
Freeman told the Chicago Tribune that it was, "Like he had forgotten something and was about to go running for it. But then he went around the table and started to look a little frantic. I'm thinking, 'Man, this is odd. Maybe one of his kids walked off and he can't find his kid or something?'"
As he was wondering about the man's bizarre behavior, an older woman nearby realized that the man in question was choking and proceeded to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. She was not, however, strong enough.
That's when Freeman stepped in with his 236-pound, 6-foot frame.
He told the publication:
"I grabbed him and tried to squeeze the life out of him," Freeman said. "You've got to push in and up. So I did that and he started throwing up what he was choking on. I asked him if he was all right and he shook his head like 'No!'" [...] "I grabbed him again and hit him again with it," Freeman added. "And when I put him down the second time, his eyes got big. He was like, 'Oh, my god! I think you just saved my life, man!' It was crazy."
CRAZY!! Just saved my guy Marcus Ryan's life by using the Heimlich maneuver in the middle of the Austin airport! WOW Mom would be proud haha pic.twitter.com/yzgGw967iO
— Jerrell Freeman (@JerrellFreeman) July 23, 2017
After the choking man could breathe again, he introduced himself as Marcus Ryan. Freeman, who had never performed the Heimlich Maneuver before, commemorated the incident on his Twitter account, where he wrote that his "mom would be proud."
He also mentions that Ryan continued to finish his brisket after the incident. " He wasn't about to let that go to waste," he told the Chicago Tribune. "You can't get between a man and his brisket. I get it." Because really, who would waste Salt Lick?