From stranger to savior: Dreher High coach saves 3-year-old from choking

Layton Majure gives Clark McCarthy a hug Monday evening.
Layton Majure gives Clark McCarthy a hug Monday evening.
Clark talks to Layton as Anna Majure looks on.
Clark talks to Layton as Anna Majure looks on.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - He was once a stranger to Anna Majure -- just a man behind her in the drive-through at a local fast food restaurant on Forest Drive. But in a split second, Clark McCarthy went from stranger to savior.  

It all started with Majure taking her three children to get doughnuts on a Saturday morning. Majure's 3-year-old, Layton, was enjoying a doughnut hole when something went wrong.

"I didn't know if he was dead. I just felt like I didn't know what to do," said Majure. 

Layton was choking on the very doughnut hole he was enjoying just moments before.

"I didn't know if he bit his tongue really bad. I couldn't figure out what had happened. He was strapped in a car seat," explained Majure.

Majure pulled out of the parking lot, drove across Forest Drive, and put her car in park on the curb.

She tried to help Layton, but she was panicking and didn't have the strength. That's where McCarthy came in.

"He was as blue as my shirt and lifeless. His eyes had rolled back in the back of his head," said McCarthy.

McCarthy could tell something was wrong.

"She let out a primal scream," said McCarthy. "It was scary. I'll never forget it. I really won't."

After a few seconds, McCarthy was able to help the child.

"I hit him on his back two more times and I gave him a stomach thrust and he finally spit the rest of it up," said McCarthy.

A doctor stopped after the boy was conscious and checked him out. Layton was okay.

McCarthy left and Majure never found out his last name. Majure put a post on Facebook asking if anyone knew McCarthy. Eventually, she was able to connect with him and his wife.

Now, these strangers, are friends.

"I feel like he's a part of my family. I would be thrilled if my children turned out as wholesome and good as he is," said Majure.

McCarthy is a soccer coach at Dreher High School and says he had been trained on how to help someone who was choking.

Majure calls McCarthy a hero, but he says he was just doing what he would want someone to do for his family.

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