A quick-thinking Lancaster bar manager saved a customer’s life after finding her choking on food in a locked toilet cubicle.
Nicole Sherlock, 27, was on her second to last shift at The White Cross pub when she went in to the ladies toilets and heard what she thought was a woman choking on her own vomit.
She said she didn’t have time to climb over the locked cubicle door, so instead she laid down on the floor, reached under the 30cm gap and managed to get the woman, who has not been named, into the recovery position.
Nicole, who has worked at the White Cross for eight years, is leaving the city this week to teach English in Madrid, Spain.
Her boss and White Cross landlord Tim Tomlinson revealed that this was not the first time Nicole has saved a customer’s life, and paid tribute to a “much loved, recognised and perpetually cheery face behind the bar”.
Tim said that around 18 months ago, Nicole was also critical in spotting a man who had fallen ill during Sunday lunch.
He was taken to A&E where doctors identified the issue as a brain hemorrhage and said such cases are extremely time critical.
Had he arrived at A&E 15 minutes later his chances of survival would have been very slim.
Nicole, who first came to Lancaster aged 18 to study drama at The University of Cumbria, described how she managed to help the lady during her shift on December 27, who by this point had lost consciousness and was turning blue.
She said: “My initial thought was that the lady was choking on her own vomit.
“I didn’t have time to climb over the locked cubicle, so I chose to lie on the floor and push and hold the lady into the recovery position from outside and underneath the cubicle.
“I then asked another customer to alert the general manager.
“Whilst holding her in the recovery position, I was rubbing and patting her back.
“At which point she coughed and was sick.”
Tim said that Nicole has used the First Aid training provided to bar staff in the city by Lancaster based FGH Security.
He added: “If it hadn’t been for her quick thinking and decisive action that have been a feature of her time as bar manager at the White Cross, the outcome could have been a lot worse.
“She is a much loved, recognised and perpetually cheery face behind the bar here and will be missed by many, many of our customers.
“We wish her all the best.”