NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – An older man who was choking on something was saved on Christmas evening thanks to the quick action of the New Providence Police, Emergency Medical Services, customers and the owner of Dim Sum Villa, Emily Kei.

On Tuesday, Kei said when the incident happened, there was a very full dining room, with a “queue” and she was busy in the kitchen when “the head waiter came into the kitchen and said, ‘There is a gentleman in the alcove choking.’”

She ran out of the kitchen into the alcove, and, “When I got there, he was already purple.” A “young mom at a nearby table had called 911 on her cell,” but may have had a bad connection so, Kei said, “I picked up my land line and called 911.”

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“Within a minute or so police arrived … and were able to get whatever was lodged in his throat out. He was breathing and coughing” by the time the EMS arrived, which is a good sign, she said. “Once EMS stabilized him, they took him to the hospital.”

Kei said members of the ambulance crew came back to the restaurant “thirty to forty-five minutes after they left, to make sure they had cleared the area up properly.” They told her the man was still stabilized and at the hospital, but provided no other details. 

Kei said, “This was the first time in my entire life,” she ever saw anyone actually choking and it was frightening. 

“Every person who steps into my restaurant to dine with us, trusts us. And each person feels like a family member, so I take anything that happens personally,” she said.

A customer who was in Dim Sum Villa during the incident contacted TAPinto New Providence to report the incident and praised Kei for the way she managed the situation.

Kei conceded, “I was thinking on my feet very, very quickly,” then said, “The true heroes are our New Providence Police Department and Emergency Medical Services team for always working hard to protect and rescue us. I’m thankful for their prompt attention and assistance.”

Dim Sum Villa is a Cantonese Restaurant at 1260 Springfield Ave., in the New Providence Shopping Center.