‘It was no coincidence he was there’: Mailman saves choking baby

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GREER, S.C. (WYFF) -- An exceedingly grateful family will celebrate their son’s first birthday thanks to an unlikely but perfectly placed hero: their mailman.

Stephanie Cooper’s young son, Eli, was choking Aug. 15 on a plastic wrapper lodged in his throat.

“I just turned him around and started beating him on his back, but it wasn’t coming out,” Cooper said.

Eli’s mother was frantic.

“I don’t even remember a whole lot because I just blacked out,” she recalled, saying she ran out the front door.

There, she saw their letter carrier, Chris Brown.

Brown didn’t say a word. He just grabbed the clearly distressed 11-month-old and did the Heimlich on him. The plastic wrapped came flying out.

“The baby started crying so I said, ‘He’s OK, mom. He’s OK. He’s crying. He’s OK,’” Brown recalled.

A 24-year veteran of the postal service, Brown learned how to do to the Heimlich maneuver years ago during emergency training with the post office. This was the first time he ever had to put that training to use.

"It was no coincidence that Chris was here at that exact time," Cooper said, choking back years as she explained her gratitude.

Eli’s parents called Brown a hero and an “amazing man,” but that’s a title that Brown isn’t comfortable with.

"I really don't feel that way because to me I would have done it for anyone or I hope someone would have done it for my children," he said.