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Couple Saves Woman from Choking at Steakhouse on New Year's Day: 'We Make a Good Medical Team'

Couple Saves Woman from Choking at Steakhouse on New Year's Day: 'We Make a Good Medical Team'

A Florida couple jumped into action to save the life of a woman who began choking during dinner at a local steakhouse on New Year’s Day.

Paul Fogarty-Brown, 34, and his husband, 39-year-old Karlton Brown were celebrating a friend’s birthday around 10 p.m. on Tuesday at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Boca Raton when they heard commotion at a table nearby.

“The woman just started choking. She must have been choking for at least two minutes before her family noticed,” Paul tells PEOPLE. “My husband, who is an EMT … He was facing that direction so he just ran straight away, right to her.”

The woman, who they say looked to be in her 60s, lost consciousness as the couple approached. Karlton says he and Paul, a medical assistant, were the only customers, out of dozens, who knew CPR. So they put the woman on the floor and performed CPR on the woman for at least 12 minutes.

“When I did the last major thrust, the steak dislodged. Before that, she was purple,” Karlton tells PEOPLE. “Her nail beds, her face, her lips, her cheeks, everything … that was a lack of oxygen in her facial tissue and her hands. As soon as we got the steak dislodged and she took that huge gasp of air, Paul felt her pulse come back.”

Video of the incident showed the couple frantically administering CPR to the woman. And the couple says it was only by a miracle that they were around.

“If we had left 10 minutes earlier … that lady would have left in a body bag,” Paul says. “There was no one else in that restaurant who knew CPR, which is scary. She was lifeless.”

But the couple was determined, and continued administering aid after emergency responders arrived.

“When we were giving CPR, I turned to Paul and I said, ‘We’re not losing her,’ ” Karlton recalls.

And they didn’t. The woman was taken to Boca Regional Medical Center where she was listed in stable condition, according to WPTV.

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Karlton says he decided to share footage of the incident on Facebook to show people the importance of learning CPR.

“I shared it for one word: awareness,” Karlton says. “It’s 2019, everybody talks about me, myself, and I … I’m like, how about for 2019 people think, ‘I’m gonna get CPR certified so I can help others.’ ”

Although the woman has not been identified publicly, the couple says the survivor reached out to them and said she wanted to meet them. A Facebook user, Eileen Slobotkin, shared an article about the men’s good deed, and revealed that she is the survivor.

“I am the woman,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Thank you so much for saving my life. You guys are my angels. My daughter got your name and found you and the article on Facebook. I would love to meet you some day.”

As for the couple, Karlton and Paul say they never expected their good deed to get so much attention, but they’re happy to have saved a life.

“Not only do we make good partners, we also make a good medical team,” Karlton says.

Boca Raton Fire Rescue did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

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