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Teen earns award for saving young life

KINGSTON — If it weren’t for the quick thinking of Bethany MacLay last October, 2-year-old Mollie Brislin probably wouldn’t be here today.

Thanks to previous baby-sitting and CPR training, the Kingston resident and sophomore at King’s West School was able to save little Mollie’s life after she choked on a pretzel.

And because of her quick thinking and fast actions, MacLay was awarded the American Red Cross 2004 Youth Good Samaritan Award last week. She was honored with 14 other “heroes” from Kitsap and North Mason counties at the agency’s Hero’s Breakfast March 25.

On Oct. 19, 2003, then-15-year-old MacLay was baby-sitting Mollie and a 3-year-old neighbor. The three of them sat down for a snack and MacLay gave Mollie small pieces of a pretzel, something Mollie had eaten before with no problem.

Soon after, MacLay noticed Mollie had stopped talking and her face was quickly turning blue, then red and she started falling out of her chair.

MacLay immediately realized Mollie was choking and gave her the Heimlich Maneuver for infants. After several thrusts, the pretzel came out.

After MacLay gave her some water and held her for about 10 minutes, Mollie was ready to go play, as if nothing had happened.

MacLay, who recalls still being shaken and upset about the experience, was surprised at the toddler’s recovery.

“I was still balling like crazy,” MacLay said.

Her quick responses came from her baby-sitting training through the Campfire Boys and Girls organization and the Red Cross’ CPR training classes.

“When I was doing it, I didn’t think about it,” MacLay said. “I was really surprised when it was all over. I was really freaked out.”

Following the event, Mollie’s mother, Heidi Brislin, nominated MacLay for the Hero Award to help recognize her efforts. She wanted to let other people know what happened, hoping it would possibly prevent similar situations.

“If we tell our story, we may save someone else’s life,” Heidi said.

She added that she was also impressed how MacLay handled the situation.

“I’m very proud of her because not a lot of grown ups would have been able to hold it together,” Heidi said.

MacLay said she was honored to learn she was receiving the Hero Award and had been nominated by Heidi.

“Mollie’s family totally made me feel like one,” the 16-year-old said. “It was scary to think that if I hadn’t been there and done that, she wouldn’t be here today.”By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

KINGSTON — If it weren’t for the quick thinking of Bethany MacLay last October, 2-year-old Mollie Brislin probably wouldn’t be here today.

Thanks to previous baby-sitting and CPR training, the Kingston resident and sophomore at King’s West School was able to save little Mollie’s life after she choked on a pretzel.

And because of her quick thinking and fast actions, MacLay was awarded the American Red Cross 2004 Youth Good Samaritan Award last week. She was honored with 14 other “heroes” from Kitsap and North Mason counties at the agency’s Hero’s Breakfast March 25.

On Oct. 19, 2003, then-15-year-old MacLay was baby-sitting Mollie and a 3-year-old neighbor. The three of them sat down for a snack and MacLay gave Mollie small pieces of a pretzel, something Mollie had eaten before with no problem.

Soon after, MacLay noticed Mollie had stopped talking and her face was quickly turning blue, then red and she started falling out of her chair.

MacLay immediately realized Mollie was choking and gave her the Heimlich Maneuver for infants. After several thrusts, the pretzel came out.

After MacLay gave her some water and held her for about 10 minutes, Mollie was ready to go play, as if nothing had happened.

MacLay, who recalls still being shaken and upset about the experience, was surprised at the toddler’s recovery.

“I was still balling like crazy,” MacLay said.

Her quick responses came from her baby-sitting training through the Campfire Boys and Girls organization and the Red Cross’ CPR training classes.

“When I was doing it, I didn’t think about it,” MacLay said. “I was really surprised when it was all over. I was really freaked out.”

Following the event, Mollie’s mother, Heidi Brislin, nominated MacLay for the Hero Award to help recognize her efforts. She wanted to let other people know what happened, hoping it would possibly prevent similar situations.

“If we tell our story, we may save someone else’s life,” Heidi said.

She added that she was also impressed how MacLay handled the situation.

“I’m very proud of her because not a lot of grown ups would have been able to hold it together,” Heidi said.

MacLay said she was honored to learn she was receiving the Hero Award and had been nominated by Heidi.

“Mollie’s family totally made me feel like one,” the 16-year-old said. “It was scary to think that if I hadn’t been there and done that, she wouldn’t be here today.”

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