It’s not every day a teenage movie theatre usher is deemed a hero but according to Melanie Jackson, a young 18 year old who helped save her life, is just that.
Global News cameras were rolling when Jackson met the teen and embraced her in thanks.
“I remember your voice going ‘just breathe, just breathe’ and I did, and I continue to breathe today because of you,” said a tearful Jackson upon meeting Brenna Reimer.
Reimer was working podium, ripping tickets and directing patrons the night Jackson and her boyfriend attended a movie at Galaxy Cinemas in downtown Saskatoon.
Celebrating an anniversary with dinner and a movie, Jackson believes she came into contact with her allergen at a restaurant before getting snacks at the theatre.
“As I kept eating the popcorn I would lick my fingers because of the butter and that’s probably where the honey was, was on my fingertips.”
Jackson went into anaphylactic shock.
“It’s a fatal allergy. It will kill me,” she said.
Struggling to breathe, so swollen she could barely walk, her vision beginning to blur, Jackson approached Reimer who promptly acted.
“I took them to the manager’s office while dialing 911,” Reimer said.
When seconds make a difference, Jackson credits her life to that swift response.
“Without her help I don’t think they would have gotten to me in time to catch me still breathing.”
Jackson was hospitalized for three days and couldn’t stop thinking about her hero.
“I don’t really view myself as a hero, just a person who was doing their job,” Reimer said.
But it isn’t her job. Theatre managers are trained to deal with anaphylaxis, heart attacks, seizures and other occurrences of medical distress.
“She kind of did most of the job that I normally would have done so that was fantastic,” said theatre manager Alyssa Hamilton. “She went above and beyond and did a great job.”
“My day to day is cleaning theatres or ripping tickets so I didn’t really think that would happen but, I’d do it again.”
Weeks later Jackson continues taking an antihistamine while the allergen works its way through her system. According to Jackson, meeting Reimer is one of the final steps in her recovery.
“It’s amazing to be able to stand here to thank her.”