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Local Hero Saves A Toddler’s Life At Basketball Game
Joe Pallo, from Jacksonville, is being called a hero by Glouster residents Chuck and Mindy Brandeberry. Pollo ended up resuscitating their baby girl Sadie after she passed out while choking.
The Brandeberry’s were at the Division IV district semi-final high school basketball game between Trimble and South Webster along with hundreds of their closest friends and community members.
Just after halftime, Sadie was enjoying some yogurt while her family urged for the ‘Cats to claw back into the contest’. Somehow, Sadie apparently got a hold of the cap from a hand sanitizer container.
It all happened so fast, this inquisitive little girl wanted to figure out what this little thing she picked up tasted like. The cap however slipped down Sadie’s throat and she began to choke.
Mindy quickly noticed the problem and try to get the cap out by swiping her finger through her daughter’s mouth. She retrieved a small rubber ring that had been inside the cap but her little girl stopped breathing and was already turning blue.
Sadie’s father picked her up, turned her over and began backslaps. He was trying to dislodge the cap from her airway. Panic started and crowd began to take notice. Chuck Brandeberry’s efforts were not working so he scanned the arena and ran down from the stands to the walkway ring, looking for help.
Meanwhile, Pallo was alerted to the situation by his wife Carrie.
“They need help,” she said to her husband.
“I looked and just saw a baby choking,” Pallo said.
Pallo ran toward the Brandeberry family and recognized Chuck. He stayed calm but told Sadie’s father to stop and to give him the little girl. At this point, Sadie lost consciousness.
“I recognized (Pallo) and he basically pulled her out of my hands, which I’m glad he did,” Chuck Brandeberry said. “He started the baby Heimlich. I was doing it wrong.”
“It was the worst feeling ever as a parent,” he said. “I hope no one ever has to go through that feeling.”
Brandeberry reportedly had his daughter turned in the right direction and performing the backslaps correctly, he however did not have her head at the necessary angle.
Pallo was a former volunteer firefighter, so he knew what to do. He tilted Sadie’s head more toward the ground and then continued impacting her back. Taking a knee to better stabilize Sadie, Sadie began to softly cry.
“Everything came to a pause. It was like nothing seemed to move around me,” Pallo said. “It was very scary and all I wanted was for her to make some kind of noise. I was so glad when she started crying.”
“Joe Pallo is definitely a hero,” said Chuck Brandeberry. “We will forever be grateful to him.”
Concerned community members gathered around Sadie when she regained consciousness including Ohio University Police Department Lt. Brian Newvahner. The officer used his flashlight to look if anything remained in Sadie’s airway. He also radioed for medical service personnel.
Sadie was taken to a local hospital where x-rays thankfully came back negative.
“I was so relieved,” said Mindy Brandeberry. “I was thinking the worst but then all I could think was ‘Thank you God.’”
Pallo said that it feels good to have helped someone in need and that’s he humbled about the experience.
“I don’t really consider myself to be a hero,” he said. “I was just a scared parent helping another parent out.”