A day like any other
The day in question must have seemed like it was going to be a day like no other – early risers stopping at the drive-thru and piling into the restaurant to grab some breakfast on their way to their jobs or to school.
For McDonald’s worker Pedro, it probably just seemed like a normal day of employment behind the counter, listening for the crackle of the intercom and scribbling down the order. We highly doubt he had any clue he would be hailed a hero before this fateful day was over.
McDonald’s – a view of Americana
McDonald’s might be one of the biggest corporations in the world, but we also imagine it’s a fascinating place to work. Being an employee of the Golden Arches can bring you into contact with a lot of different people from all walks of life.
Employees like Pedro could be serving food to hungry Americans at any time of day or night, so he had a window into their world – a chance to witness different ways of life from behind the counter.
Who is Pedro?
So, who is Pedro Viloria? Well, to his parents, we imagine, he’s simply ‘Pedro.’ To his friends, perhaps he’s ‘Viloria?’ To his colleagues at the McDonald’s branch in Doral, Miami he was likely both those and more. As a co-worker, friend, confidante, and employee, he was a member of the team.
The public probably didn’t pay him much mind, aside from when they were ordering food from him. However, this particular Tuesday would be the last day on which that would ever be the case for Pedro.
Like many young Americans these days, we imagine Pedro had been looking for work for quite a while before settling on employment at McDonald’s. This was probably a major drive for him to take the role seriously and really give it his all.
From what we hear, Viloria was considered to be a model employee at the restaurant. When he first joined it took him a while to acclimate, but once he had become comfortable with his position, the management were very impressed with him.
After securing employment at the Miami-based McDonald’s, Pedro eventually found himself on the early shifts. We’re unsure if this was a result of the rota, whether he was employed for this shift, or if he had requested it.
However, it is seems that the morning shift presents a lot of opportunity to learn more, as a result of the busy flow of customers, as well as giving employees like Pedro a view into how the Miami people function on an early-morning basis.
Expect the unexpected
Now, we accept that working in McDonald’s is hardly the sort of edge-of-your-seat job where you’re wrestling with nature’s awesome power on a daily basis. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from life, it’s that you shouldn’t take anything for granted.
Always expect the unexpected, and do as much as you can to prepare for any events that come your way. This is exactly what Pedro would have to do before his shift had come to a close.
Anybody who has used the McDonald’s drive-thru before will know how busy and chaotic it can get at the best of times. We can only imagine how busy the drive-thru gets on a busy weekday morning.
The mayhem of car horns, screaming children, fast-paced orders, and hungry diners must be pretty overwhelming. So, it is important to understand the kind of stress and pressure that Pedro and his team were most likely under when the morning would take an unexpected turn.
Taking the order
An order flashed through, and Pedro probably thought nothing of it. Just a regular order for a regular customer and he likely thought the same as a female customer pulled up to the window in her SUV, hungry children in the back seat.
Pedro packed her food into the bag as he would any other day, and prepared to hand it through the window to the hungry family members. However, as he bent forward, CCTV footage shows us that something stopped him in his tracks.
It was only then that Pedro realized something was not quite right. There were sounds of distress coming from inside as the twin children were screaming for their mother. Looking into the front of the car, Pedro noticed that the mother had passed out at the wheel.
He told Inside Edition that the kids were screaming, “Mom, what are you doing?! Mom, stop!” It was then that he realized something was very wrong, and as the car moved past the window without stopping. He had to act fast.
Springing into action
This is one of these scenarios that you might imagine yourself in and, wonder what you would do if it were you? Well, hopefully, if this does ever happen, you will be as cool and calm about it as Pedro.
Quickly realizing what was happening, camera footage shows Pedro jumping through the open window of the drive-thru booth and racing down the path in pursuit of the car. The car was rolling away from the restaurant and toward the road, and the mother was unconscious at the wheel.
Stopping the car
Fortunately, the car was not moving at a fast speed, and so Pedro was able to run and catch up with it. We wonder what must have been going through his head at that moment, with the adrenaline running through his body.
Speaking to NBC Miami, Pedro said, “I ran as fast as I could and just put myself in front of the car.” Fortunately, with the help of one of the restaurant guests, Pedro was able to use the curb to stop the car rolling into traffic.
It’s fair to suggest that every person in the car has Pedro to thank for their lives! It must have been very scary for the children to know that something was wrong with their mother and that there was nothing they could do about it.
It’s not every day something like this happens, but luckily, quick-thinking Pedro was the hero of the hour and managed to prevent an accident from occurring. What’s more, the woman and her children would be in safe hands just moments later.
The scariest thing is that it transpired the woman in the car was an off-duty police officer. A lot of people probably view police officers as heroes, as many just assume they are always going to be there to help others. It is rare to imagine a police officer needing to be saved by a regular citizen.
This makes Pedro’s heroic actions even more important, and even more impressive. We’re sure he has made friends for life among the policing community.
It turns out that, if you were going to be in a situation that required medical help, this was the day, time, and location to do it. It turns out that two other customers worked for the emergency services as well! One was a paramedic, and the other was a firefighter.
The two of them, working with another Doral police officer, managed to get the woman breathing again before the mother was transported to hospital in critical condition.
Rushed to hospital
Being taken to hospital was most likely a scary experience for the off-duty cop, but it was definitely the right call. Something wasn’t right with her, and it was clear she required urgent medical assistance pretty much immediately.
It is unknown as of yet what sort of emergency the woman had faced, but it was clear her life was almost certainly in danger. If it hadn’t been for Pedro’s quick thinking, this may not even have been a possibility.
A hero’s welcome
We would love to have been a fly on the wall in that McDonald’s when Pedro showed up for his shift the next day! We can only imagine the young man received a hero’s welcome, alongside a well-deserved pay rise.
His boss, Alex Menendez released a statement praising Pedro, where he states how Pedro had always been a key employee so wasn’t surprised he took action. A second unnamed employee also helped the woman with CPR.
We can’t be sure of how long the mother and police officer spent in hospital. However, reports say that the woman made a full recovery. With two kids at home, and the population of Miami to help protect, we are certainly glad this officer is going to be back on duty sometime soon.
We hope that she is out of hospital now and recuperating nicely. As for Pedro, well, hopefully, he’ll have some sort of medal winging its way to him.
Children get their mom back
This is one of those great feel-good stories that comes packaged with a happy ending we maybe weren’t expecting. After what seemed like a tragedy waiting to happen, things actually ended as well as they could have, and we will be seeing the children get their mother back safe and sound, hopefully any day now!
Of all the shifts Pedro has had at McDonald’s we’re willing to bet that’s the happiest of meals he’s ever served up.
Honored by the Mayor
In fact, his heroics spread all across the city (and state), and, as you can see from the picture, Pedro was hot news that day – quite rightly too! We bet his whole family was proud of him, and we think he’s earned a well-deserved vacay.
However, before having a chance to do that, Viloria was actually honored by the Mayor of Miami-Dade. Carlos A. Gimenez presented the young man at a ceremony on the Friday. You deserve it, Pedro!
Employee of the month
Pedro’s manager told the world how he was an excellent employee and that he worked hard and diligently. Well, if that was before this miraculous story, we can only imagine how high his stock is now.
We’re willing to be that Employee of the Month Award is probably filled for the next few months at least. Though, to their credit, his co-workers at the restaurant seem pretty stoked about it as well.
Heroes can be found anywhere
We have learned so much from the story of Pedro Viloria. Of course, this was not his full story, but only a snapshot of one particular day. However, we have certainly been moved and inspired by this young man, and he has shown us the good in people.
There is such negativity and bad stuff in the news these days that it’s so nice to have positive stories like this. Pedro has shown us that human beings can be remarkable sometimes and that heroes don’t always wear a cape.