It is one thing to survive a near death experience – it’s another thing entirely when your life is saved by a world-renowned football player.

Chicago Bears linebacker Jarrell Freeman was on his way to training camp from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Sunday when he got a hankering for some barbecue.

Figuring it was his last chance to eat any junk food before training, Freeman stopped in at the Salt Lick Taco Bar. When he sat down to start eating, however, he noticed something strange.

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A man dining next to him stood up from his table with a look of desperate fear on his face. Then, a nearby woman started giving the man the Heimlich maneuver – but to no avail.

Realizing that the patron was choking on his brisket, Freeman took over for the woman and tried to properly conduct the emergency procedure.

Though he failed the first time, his second attempt proved successful.

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“I grabbed him again and hit him again with it,” Freeman told the Chicago Tribune. “And when I put him down the second time, his eyes got big. He was like, ‘Oh, my god! I think you just saved my life, man!’ It was crazy.”

After the man introduced himself as Marcus Ryan, the two took a photo together and posted it on Twitter to commemorate the event.

“CRAZY!! Just saved my guy Marcus Ryan’s life by using the Heimlich maneuver in the middle of the Austin airport!” said Freeman. “WOW Mom would be proud haha.”

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