Two managers at a Bluffton restaurant save a choking woman. See their efforts on video

Two managers of Truffles Bluffton restaurant jumped into action and used their training to save a guest from choking Saturday.

During a brief lull in between lunch and a busy dinner rush a customer seated at a booth began choking on her food. After a waitress alerted the managers they rushed to the table to perform the Heimlich maneuver and begin CPR.

“It was definitely a very scary moment, but something inside of you kicks in, or adrenaline kicks in and you’re just like, ‘I’m here to do this and I’m just gonna keep doing it,’” said Jeannine Gleason, one of the managers.

“I was pretty much just in automatic pilot. Like, my training really did kick in,” said Terrell Mungin, the other manager.

The two quickly and carefully placed the lady on the floor, something Gleason said she would not have been able to do without Mungin, and began the life-saving maneuvers. At that point, every second counted.

“That blue,” Gleason said speaking of the lady’s face. “I’ve never seen someone like that before.”

Truffles Cafe in Bluffton on March 11, 2024
Truffles Cafe in Bluffton on March 11, 2024

“The actions of the two employees of Truffles Cafe were extraordinary and their quick thinking, quick actions assisted that individual in providing life-saving medical care until the first responders could get there. They were truly immediate responders,” said Ginger Marshall, spokesperson for Beaufort County EMS.

Luckily, both Mungin and Gleason both have family members in the medical field. Gleason’s husband is an EMS supervisor and both of her children are pursuing careers in the medical field. “I was the hero of the house for the day,” she said.

Mungin, while also having nurses in his family, was trained in CPR when he was applying to be a firefighter over a decade ago.

While performing the chest compression, Mungin said he was putting the situation in God’s hands.

“He let me know we’re not gonna take this one today,” Mungin said. “Just keep doing what you’re doing and everything will be okay.”

After a few minutes, food was dislodged from the lady’s throat and the two life-saving managers were able to verify that she was breathing again. Shortly after the Bluffton Police Department and Beaufort County EMS arrived on the scene.

Immediately after, Mungin said he washed his hands and got back to work. The restaurant had quite a few dinner reservations and needed to prepare for the busy night.

“It’s something about the restaurant industry that I love and hate, it’s controlled chaos. There’s always something happening that you have to adapt to and then move on,” he said.

“I’m a manager. I’m responsible for that restaurant, but also once everybody walks through that door, I’m responsible for everybody,” he added.

Mungin said it’s a double-edged sword. He’s proud that he was able to save a life but noted that firefighters and EMS save lives every day and don’t get praised. But in the end, Mungin said God deserved the praise above anyone.

“God’s grace,” he said. “Because thinking about it, we could have done everything right and she still could have died.”