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Friends for Life
Stained glass reflects a Baltimore tradition, delights youngsters with cancer.
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Gerogia Mayfield and Johnny Matthews: a routine lunch together almost proved catastrophic.

Johnny Matthews and Georgia Mayfield are a team. The two custodians work the day shift in Turner Concourse, setting up tables for the frequent events held there and cleaning the surrounding offices. In fact, says Matthews, “we’re like we’re married, but we’re not.”

Every day, the pair has lunch together, and Monday, Sept. 29, was no exception. They decided to try the new cafeteria; it was the day of its debut after being closed for extensive renovations. Mayfield selected roast beef and mashed potatoes. Back in their small, isolated lunchroom, the two were talking and laughing when suddenly Mayfield realized she couldn’t breathe. She didn’t remember anything after that.

Matthews saw his co-worker’s head fall to the side and watched her eyes roll back in her head. He came up behind her, hit her twice on the back, then performed the Heimlich maneuver. The piece of roast beef that was blocking her airway became dislodged and Mayfield started to breathe again.

Mayfield was luckier than she could have imagined. It happened that several years ago, Matthews and his wife were thinking of adopting a child, and the couple was required to learn first aid techniques such as CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

“He saved my life,” Mayfield murmurs. “He saved my life.”
Matthews takes the episode in stride. “She should’ve had the cold-cut sandwich like I did.”



— MEM

 

 

Johns Hopkins Medicine

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