Bolton Asda worker praised for her ‘quick-thinking’ that saved a toddler’s life

"The situation could have had a very different outcome if it wasn't for Joanne."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 27th June 2022

An Asda worker has been praised for her “quick-thinking” that ultimately saved the life of a little boy in a Bolton store.

The supermarket chain has praised its employee Joanne Lang – who was working on the self-scan checkouts at the Farnworth branch in Bolton – after she sprang into action to stop a little boy from choking on a sweet after she spotted he was struggling to breathe while out shopping with his mum.

Joanne’s quick-thinking meant she was able to successfully dislodge the gummy snake snake, which the toddler brought into the store, by leaning him over and “slapping him firmly on the back” two times.

She said the shocking incident “all happened very quickly”, and described her actions an act of “pure instinct”.

“I saw the little boy out of the corner of my eye sitting in a trolley and knew straight away that something was wrong as his face was going red and he was having difficulty breathing,” Joanne explained.


“He wasn’t coughing so I knew something was stuck so used the heel of my hand to hit him on the back a couple of times and the snake came out.

“I think he’d managed to swallow it whole and it got stuck.


“When it came out the boy, who was aged about two or three, just looked at me with a massive grin on his face – it was such a relief that he was okay.”

Joanne – who has worked at the store for 18 months, and has some prior first aid training – explained that the little boy’s mother was “in shock” following the incident, but made sure to thank her before they left.

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“I just did what anyone else would have done,” Joanne added.

“I was in the right place at the right time, and it wasn’t really about the first aid training, it was about being a mum.”

Asda Farnworth Superstore / Credit: Matt Timbers (via Sigma RP & Asda)

Rita Charleston – Customer Service Manager at Asda Farnworth – decided to nominate Joanne for an Asda ‘Service Superstar’ award for her actions, explaining that they are “so proud” of her and that what she did was “absolutely amazing”.

“She single-handedly saved that child from choking and her quick reactions really did save the day.

“The situation could have had a very different outcome if it wasn’t for Joanne.”

Featured Image – Asda