April 19, 2022 - 9:10am
Michael Yarbrough, a workforce project manager at Pearl River Community College, is being hailed as a hero by his fellow workers at the Woodall Advanced Technology Center after he performed the Heimlich Maneuver on a fellow worker.
The worker, custodian and handyman Doug Touchstone, was eating his lunch in the Woodall Center on April 12 when he began choking.
“I was eating a turkey sandwich, in a hurry,” said the 48-year-old Touchstone. “I took a large bite and started choking. I was holding my chest and trying to breathe.”
He was walking down the hallway and decided to enter the auditorium, thinking the downward slope toward the stage might help.
Yarbrough was in the auditorium checking some equipment when he saw Touchstone struggling and motioning for help.
“I saw him come in the door and he was sort of panicking, but I wasn’t sure what was going on,” said Yarbrough. “When he spotted me, he turned around like he knew what I needed to do. I put my arms around him, put my fists in his stomach and then squeezed and backed up at the same time.”
On the third time, the food dislodged in his throat popped out on the floor. The incident was captured on surveillance video at the Woodall Center.
“He saved my life,” said Touchstone, who has had two previous incidents of choking on food. “This one was the worst.”
Yarbrough credits his recent attendance monitoring a first-aid CPR class PRCC conducted for a local company as a key for knowing how to respond. The Heimlich Maneuver, the world’s most famous technique for treating a choking victim, was one of the topics.
“In the moment, you don’t really think of the consequences,” said Yarbrough. “I am just thankful I was there. I hate to think what would have happened if I had not been there.”
Marissa Brandon, who teaches first-aid and CPR as part of her curriculum at PRCC, said it’s important to teach the Heimlich Maneuver in these classes. “This is one of those skills that you never know when it will be helpful,” she said. “I am glad to have been able to contribute to Michael’s efforts to help a fellow employee.”
Meanwhile, Touchstone was back at work at the Woodall Center the next day. His lunch menu: soup.
April 19, 2022 - 2:05pm
Pearl River Community College Development Foundation will be hosting their annual Alumni Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 12. The event provides the opportunity to celebrate alumni and community partnerships that support PRCC.
The banquet will be held at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. A social hour will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner and the program starting at 6:30 p.m.
“We are excited to once again host events and recognize the many contributions that our alumni and supporters provide to our college,” said Executive Director of Development Foundation/Alumni Association Delana Harris. “This support is essential to the success of our Foundation for current and future Wildcats.
“PRCC graduates work, live, and give to our local communities. We are proud of the outstanding commitment to excellence that each of these honorees represent.”
Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by visiting our website at prcc.edu/alumni or by calling Mary Alice Chandler with the PRCC Development Foundation at (601) 403-1193. Tables may also be purchased directly from the Foundation.
Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. Sponsorship levels begin at $1,000 (Bronze Level), $2,500 (Silver Level) and $5,000 (Gold Level). Please contact the PRCC Development Foundation for sponsorships and packages.
HONOREES FOR 2022
Honorees for 2022 are:
Young Alumnus of the Year: Mrs. Hannah Davis Aucoin, Owner of H & Co. Salon in Poplarville
Alumnus of the Year: Mr. Kevin Hedgepeth, Director of Acute Care Services at Highland Community Hospital
Distinguished Service Award: Mr. Bryan Maxie, Regional Administrator for Forrest Health
Outstanding Partnership: Mississippi Power Company
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. James Sones, Retired PRCC Administrator