CNA saves choking woman

Polly Kennedy
Rifle Veterans Center
Kyle Minter
Provided |

“He is my hero,” Alma Koster told administrator Carolyn Reser. Her face smooth and unlined at age 81, Koster lives at the Rifle Veteran’s Community Living Center. She was referring to Kyle Minter, 28, the center’s newest certified nursing assistant.

Minter completed the CNA course held at the Community Living Center and started working there in February. It was a normal weekday on Monday, March 23. Koster was sitting in the dining room enjoying her lunch and Kyle had his back turned to her as he assisted another residents.

“Jody walked in with a tray (speaking of fellow CNA Jody Francisco) and saw that Alma was choking on a piece of food,” Minter said.

After hearing Francisco’s cry, Minter turned to see Koster indeed choking. “I got behind her — she was in a motorized cart — and I put both arms around her and squeezed, just as I had been trained,” he said. “She coughed, but I squeezed again, and out popped the bite.”

Koster recounted the ordeal.

“It was Jody who saw me first, but it was Kyle that saved my life,” she said. “There are so many well-trained and loving people who work here.”

Minter smiled and said, “She is an awesome lady. I just did what I had to do.”

Margie Maynard, director of nursing, sang praise for her staffers.

“In tandem with a group effort, Kyle was able to successfully complete the blocked airway maneuver,” she said. “Kyle is a wonderful addition to our staff.”

Minter and his wife, Tiffany, are both CNAs. She works for home health and hospice.

“She taught me a lot,” Minter said. “I used to wonder how she did it, but now that I am doing it, you just care so much and it takes over. Helping these people means the world to me.”

Kyle and Tiffany have two children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 17-month-old son.

And Alma Koster has found a friend for life in Kyle Minter.

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