WARNING: Graphic content
A MIDWIFE has told how she sliced open her boyfriend's throat with a knife to save his life after he started choking on his food and almost died.
Sarah Glass, 45, was enjoying a barbecue with her partner Isak Bester, 50, last month on New Zealand's North Island when the drama happened, The Sun reports.
Isak was tucking in to a piece of steak when he suddenly started gasping for breath after a chunk got stuck in his throat.
Pals attempted to dislodge it using the Heimlich manoeuvre, Stuff reports - but to no avail.
The crematorium and cemetery manager passed out and turned "completely purple", with Sarah only managing to keep him alive by blowing air into his lungs using mouth-to-mouth.
But after a time even this stopped working as the piece of steak had moved, fully blocking his airway.
Sarah told the Daily Mail: "He was now turning a very nasty shade of purple and he was dying in front of us."
But quick-thinking Sarah suddenly had a bright idea and called out for someone to pass her a sharp object.
She recalled thinking: "I can't get air in him - I'm going to have to cut him."
She remembered studying how to carry out a tracheotomy back when she was in her 20s and decided the only way to save her partner's life was to perform one on him.
One of the other barbecue guests passed her a Stanley knife and she sliced open Isak's throat just below his Adam's apple.
She then used a syringe from a home-birthing kit to keep the airway open and fed through oxygen using a tank she luckily had to hand.
Paramedics arrived 20 minutes later and Isak was flown to hospital.
He was released a week later and is now expected to make a full recovery.
Doctors reportedly said he would have suffered brain damage or organ failure if Sarah hadn't carried out the procedure.
And Isak hailed his "amazing" girlfriend, calling her a "hero" and telling Stuff: "If I had died or been brain damaged she would have carried that for the rest of her life."
But Sarah shrugged off the praise, saying: "We had no choice - it was do that or he was dead."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.