MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — Two women — who bonded over a life-saving moment — reunited Saturday in Malibu and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
CBS2’s Greg Mills says there were lots of tears when Melanie Miller and Christina Accola were reunited.READ MORE: Bob Dole, Who Overcame Severe WWII Wounds To Lead Senate GOP And Run For President, Dies At 98
“I could’ve died,” said Santa Monica resident Accola.
Miller is a mother of two and a school teacher who was in Southern California last March — vacationing — when she played a key role in saving Accola.
Accola was on a first date with a man. They were enjoying dinner at a Malibu restaurant when she began to choke on her food.
“The gentleman I was with tried to help,” Accola said. But — no one else did.
“The hostess was screaming for help. Nobody moved. Everybody just kept eating,” Miller said.
“There was a man at another table,” said Accola, “I’ve been told, he kept eating and was filming me — dying on the ground.”
Miller stepped up (literally) to the plate.READ MORE: Inside SoCal: 12/5 Wrap-Up
“I grabbed her jaw and ripped it open so I could stick these two fingers down [her] throat and palpate and little bits started to come up,” Miller said.
Paramedics arrived to get the rest of the food out. They then took her to the hospital.
Accola stopped by to thank them several months ago.
“They’re amazing what they do every day,” she said.
Accola and Miller were just two of the many happy reunions, Mills reports. There were more than 45 LA County firefighters, paramedics and Good Samaritans reunited with people they helped save.
“The reason I am alive is because of the quick action of these wonderful people here,” said one-time cardiac arrest patient Steve Krantz who came to thank his first responders.
Man yeople came from from and wide for the day of thanks.
Miller, for example, came from Vernon Hills, Illinois. Her uncle picked up her travel tab so she could be there to meet Accola.MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 4 Injured In Multi-Car Crash In Anaheim
“She’s my angel,” Accola said.