Video Report: Missouri waitress training to be nurse saves choking man’s life

Amanda Zamudio

ARNOLD, Mo. ( – When the word “hero” is dropped, firefighters, police officers, and doctors may come to mind. 

Waitress, however, may not. 

Amanda Zamudio waits tables at the Denny’s restaurant in Arnold, Mo. When she is not working there, she attends night classes to earn her degree in nursing. 

“I have one credit hour left,” Zamudio said. 

Zamudio said she works both jobs as lines of security because both professions are necessities to the public. 

“People always have to eat and people get sick,” Zamudio said. “So I get to take care of people in both professions.” 

Earlier this month, Zamudio was presented with the opportunity to both simultaneously. A man eating at the Denny’s choked on his food, and that’s when Zamudio went into action. 

“I immediately stopped what I was doing, and I went over and he was already standing. I positioned myself properly to give him the Heimlich and then within one thrust, it cleared, and he was okay,” Zamudio said. 

Zamudio said she is just glad she was in the right place at the right time. 

Word spread about Zamudio’s life-saving act and eventually worked it’s way up to John C. Miller, the president and CEO of Denny’s. 

Miller sent her a letter and gave her the president’s award for her deed. 

Zamudio said she was touched deeply by both, but what she did is really just who she is as a person. 

“It was something (I would) have done for anybody at any time, and I wouldn’t have thought about it,” Zamudio said.