Choking is a danger to everyone, but especially to people who are already battling other illnesses. Thankfully there is a medical advancement that’s helping.

Just a few months ago Anne Kalyvas, who has multiple sclerosis, suffered a severe choking event while eating and fell unconscious.

Despite the efforts of her nearby caregivers the Heimlich maneuver was not successful.

“EMS arrived and they attempted the same regiments, the Heimlich maneuver and the back slaps. It took an additional six times before they were able to dislodge the food slowly,” Jane Mascola, Kalyvas’ daughter, said.

Because of the natural pulmonary decline in MS patients like Kalyvas, her daughter was shaken.

That’s when she heard about Life Vac, a portable suction device developed to resuscitate a choking victim.

And now it’s always within her mother’s reach.

“It’s a big help. It gives me peace of mind and that helps with my family, my caregivers, those who associate with me,” Kalyvas said.

Life Vac isn’t unique to those with MS or kids, it’s a medical advancement for aging patients and their families.

“It takes seconds before someone will die after they choke, so it needs to be available and on hand everywhere. I’ve experienced the relief of anxiety and peace of mind and I want to impart that on as many people as I possibly can,” Mascola said.

Nearly 4,000 people a year die from choking in the US and it’s a leading cause of accidental deaths among people over the age of 65.

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