Off-duty Butler County deputy saves choking child at movie theater
BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio — Quick thinking and persistence by a Butler County deputy saved the life of a little girl in the lobby of a movie theater Saturday.
Madelynn Kurtz, a third-grader, choked on a piece of candy as she was holding her mother’s hand while leaving the Cobb Luxury Theater in Liberty Township.
“I thought that she was going to die. I really thought that was what was going to happen,” said Madelynn’s mother, Chelsea Kurtz.
“I panicked, and I started screaming and started saying somebody help me. It was very emotional, and I just felt extremely helpless,” the mother said.
Off-duty Butler County Deputy Mike Gipson and his wife, Stephanie Gipson were also at the theater and heard Chelsea screaming.
“Stephanie had taken over and started doing the Heimlich (maneuver) on her, then Mike took over,” Chelsea Kurtz said.
Nothing seemed to work.
“I was thinking, ‘What are we going to do next?'” Gipson said.
“I ended up readjusting and ended up patting her on the back a couple of time,” Gipson said.
After about 10 tries, Madelynn started to breathe.
On Monday, the Sheriff’s Department gave the deputy the Lifesaving Award.
Most officers go their entire careers and don’t get the honor.
This is the third time in about two years Gipson has been given the Lifesaving Award.
“He’s my hero, always is. He’s so calm, so compassionate,” Stephanie Gipson said.
Madelynn gave the deputy a piece of paper with hearts that read, “I am so glad I am still alive. You are my hero. We appreciate you.”