One hopeful Republican candidate, a former decorated Navy SEAL veteran, was in the right place at the right time when a woman began choking at dinner.
Derrick Van Orden is the Republican candidate for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, and when recently attending a hotel function, he noticed a doctor friend race into an adjoining room. Sensing something was unfolding, his training as a Navy SEAL kicked in, and he followed the doctor he told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News on Saturday.
“I realized that something required attention in the next room, and so I followed him in there,” he said.
“There was Betty, sitting there at a table. She was there having a birthday dinner there with one of her friends, and she was unconscious, sitting straight up, and her face was as blue as a blueberry,” he said.
Recalling what happened next, Van Orden said:
“I was able to pick her up and lay her on the ground and clear her airway, and I had to do ten rescue breaths to get her kick-started again. … I was a combat medic for a long time in the SEAL teams, and you try to talk to a person [because] even if they’re unconscious, they can still hear you. And I was talking to her, saying, “Betty, Betty, come back to us, Betty.” And after about the tenth rescue breath, her eyes came back into her head, you know, you can see the life return back to somebody—it’s actually an incredibly beautiful thing. And she coughed a little bit and sputtered, and then I said, “Betty, how are you doing?” And she looked at me and said, “I am so thankful to be here.” and I looked at her and said, “Betty, you know what, we’re so thankful that you’re here with us right now.”
Two days later, Van Orden and his wife had breakfast with the 77-year-old Betty Kabara, and he discovered she was a woman who, along with her now-deceased husband, had devoted her life to helping others.
“This woman and her late husband are responsible for building essentially, an entire wing at the Gunderson Health Center in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. And through their altruism, they had helped thousands and thousands and thousands of people throughout their lives,” he said.
Van Orden was full of praise for Kabara, yet modest about his good deed in saving her life.
“To be able to help somebody when they are truly in need, I mean, to me, you know honestly, we both got an incredible gift that day. I mean, she was able to return to her family, and I was able to meet one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met in my life,” he said.
“This is how tough this lady is—she had been unconscious and breathless for three minutes plus, and her pulse was just barely palpable. Two days later, she drove four hours home. She is just an amazing woman,” he added.
And Kabara is one voter who supports his political aspirations, and the two have plans to meet regularly for breakfast.
“I’m wishing with all of my heart that he makes it,” Kabara told News 8 Now.