Sunderland dad hailed a hero after saving life of choking woman in Seaburn's Goa restaurant

A dad has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a choking woman at an Indian restaurant in Sunderland.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 11:36 am

Charlie Butler, 29, was out for a meal with friends at Goa in Seaburn when he noticed a commotion going on behind him.

Originally thinking it was some sort of altercation, Charlie turned to see a woman screaming for help and realised another woman in the group was choking.

Charlie, who is first-aid trained, sprung into action.

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Charlie Butler with daughter Amelia (left) and Trish Mallin (right)

After calmly introducing himself, he used his training – ultimately using the abdominal thrust method, also known as the Heimlich manoeuvre – to dislodge the food from the throat of Trish Mallin, 48, saving her life.

Charlie, who is dad to six-month-old Amelia and lives with his partner Emma, in Roker, told how he first thought a fight had broken out when he heard the commotion on the night of Friday, October 1.

“I looked over my shoulder and there was a woman being patted on the back by her friend, they were screaming for help,” he said.

"I thought it might have been a fight at first but I realised what was happening and jumped up to help.

Goa, Seaburn

“I saw she couldn’t breathe and her face was just getting more and more red. It was scary but there was no alternative, someone had to do something and I think fight or flight just kicked in.

"It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life”

Charlie, who is an operations manager for a waste management company, credited the life-saving actions to first aid training he received through work.

“The first aid training I got through work allowed me to save a life and just goes to show how important that training can be,” he said.

Trish’s husband Dave Mallin said the incident could have easily been a much more tragic one, and hailed Charlie as a hero.

“All of a sudden Trish started coughing and then it got worse and worse and you could see she was choking and gasping for air. We were panicking and didn't know what to do,” he said.

"Our friend Mandy shouted for help and Charlie came over and was absolutely amazing. It was a scary situation. We can’t thank Charlie enough, his heroic actions saved her life.”

To thank Charlie, Dave bought him and his friends a round of drinks and Goa has invited him back for a free meal.

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