Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Gipson and his wife, Stephanie, had planned to go to a concert Saturday evening. Instead, they decided to catch a movie. It’s a decision one mother is grateful for because their actions at the theatre saved her daughter’s life, she said.
Chelsea Kurtz said she and her children were leaving Cobb Theatre at Liberty Center after seeing “Hotel Transylvania 3” when her daughter Madelynn grabbed onto her arm.
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When Kurtz turned at the urgent tug, she saw her daughter holding her hand to her throat.
“I asked, ‘Are you OK, Madelynn?’ She just shook her head no. And then it just kind of went downhill from there. I panicked and I started screaming and saying, ‘Somebody help me,’ ” Kurtz said.
“I felt extremely helpless,” she said.
Deputy Gipson, who was off duty at the time, ran over and began performing the Heimlich maneuver on the 8-year-old girl.
“Mike did the Heimlich on her and saved her life. I thought she was going to die. I really thought that was what was going to happen,” Kurtz said.
“All the praise goes to Mike. He’s the true hero here. He saved my daughter’s life, and for that I am very grateful,” she said as tears began to form in her eyes and her voice shook with emotion while telling the story Monday at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Gipson, who was assisted by his wife, Stephanie, remained calm and focused throughout the entire ordeal, she said.
Gipson was presented Monday with a Life-Saving Award from the sheriff’s department.
Gipson was humble as he accepted the award.
“Really it was no big deal. I was just there at the moment and did what I’ve been taught to do,” said the 12-year veteran of the sheriff’s department.
Liberty Twp. emergency crews responded to evaluate Madelynn, who was not transported.
“These things happen in the blink of an eye, and I am elated that this one has a happy ending for all,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones in a post on the department’s Facebook page.
“It was meant to be for them to be there,” Kurtz said.