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The holiday season is the time of miracles, so it’s fitting that we have a real-life miracle to share with you. A woman drove her car, and her son started choking. She stopped the car, and then a mysterious “angel” pickup truck driver arrived and saved the choking boy’s life.

A boy choked on a piece of hard candy on the drive home from church

White Ford F-150 with green mountains, highlighting story about pickup driver that saved a choking boy
Ford F-150 | LeeAnn Cline via Unsplash

Earlier this month in Gardendale, Alabama, Candace Pimentel and her two sons, Raylen and Grayson, were on their way home from church. As detailed by WVTM 13, “moments of chatting and smiling leaving church quickly turned to terror.”

As he was sipping on his juice box straw, the nine-year-old Raylen “lodged a piece of hard candy in his throat.” Candace said, “Panic mode! Oh my God! Scary!” Raylen described his experience of choking on the hard candy by saying, “It was very scary. I was very scared that I couldn’t [form words out of my mouth].”

Candice tried to do the Heimlich maneuver to get the candy dislodged from her son’s throat. However, she was unsuccessful in her attempts. Candice then frantically started waving to hail cars down as she held her son with her other hand. She said, “I need help! Anybody! Anybody! Stop! Stop!” Grayson, Raylen’s older brother, attempted to call first responders. He said, “I was so shocked. I called 199 — twice.”

‘Angel’ in a pickup truck arrives and miraculously saves the boy

Boy that was choking and then saved by a mysterious angel pickup truck driver
Raylen Pimentel | WVTM 13 via Youtube

At this point, a mysterious man in a pickup truck arrived at the scene, pulling up right behind Candice. She shouted to the man, “Do the Heimlich! Save him!” Recollecting the moment, Candice said that “I don’t even know if he knows how to do the Heimlich.”

Fortunately, the mysterious pickup truck driver heeded the call. He calmly performed the Heimlich maneuver and effectively dislodged the piece of hard candy, enabling the boy to breathe again. Raylen stated, “I just grabbed it [hard candy] and then threw it out. I said, ‘I got the candy! I got it!’ and then threw it on the road.”

The mysterious man then told the boy that he loved him. He turned to the boy’s mother, gave her a big hug, and said that he loved her too. Holding back tears, Candice said that she felt like the “Heavenly Father sent an angel to help me.”

Family searches to find mysterious ‘angel’ pickup truck driver

Candice and her sons know very little about the mysterious “angel” pickup truck driver — other than his mode of transportation, his kind actions, and that he was coming from the church as well. They don’t even know his name. After he said his parting words of love, he got back in his pickup truck and drove away. She wants to find the stranger and thank him for saving her child

As far as little Raylen, he learned some lessons: “No hard candies for me — said my mom and me. God sent an angel, and she probably has a purpose for me over here.” When asked if he had anything to say to the mysterious pickup truck driver, he said, “Thank you so much for saving my life. My mother probably couldn’t have done it without you.” 

Candice then relayed a message to others. She stated, “I’m so grateful, and I hope that we can all be an angel to somebody. It doesn’t have to be saving a choking child, but it could be anything — just a smile to a stranger. It goes a long way. I hope we can all share goodness and love.” 

Whether or not you believe in the angelic or religious connotations of this story, one thing is for certain. A man performed a very kind and life-saving action. It’s not a stretch to say that there is a great deal of divisiveness and hostility in the world today. Amidst a sea of darkness, it’s nice to see people that keep the torch of kindness lit. 


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