Waitress hailed for her swift actions to protect baby | News, Sports, Jobs

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Mellissa Colondo poses with her husband Robert and grandson Weston. Courtesy photo

A local waitress is hailed as a heroine after her swift actions saved a baby from severe burns when a bowl of hot soup was accidentally spilled on the child.

It was during a busy shift at King’s Family Restaurant in Altoona that Mellissa Colondo rushed to help baby Madelyn, according to general manager Brenda Hoover.

On Thursday, September 30, a grandmother, an aunt, two young boys and a little girl were seated at a booth in the Colondo section, Hoover said.

When serving a family with young children, Colondo says she always places hot foods from her hand at her elbow length on the table so the kids can’t reach her.

Despite this, one of the boys or the baby managed to reach for a bowl of soup, spilling the contents on Madelyn.

According to Hoover, the restaurant’s soup is stored between 165 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Somehow they managed to get hold of it” said Colondo.

Before anyone else could react, Colondo had rushed through the restaurant and started removing the baby’s soiled clothes. She then retrieved ice packs from the kitchen, pressing them against the baby’s skin to soothe the burns.

“It was so quick, I just reacted” said Colondo. “I guess you want to call it my mom instinct; I am the mother of three children.

While Colondo tried to calm the baby down, Hoover was busy preparing free food for the two young boys to take with them. According to Hoover, the family, who identified only as the Stiles, were not from the area and had to be directed to the nearest walk-in health clinic to get treatment for Madelyn.

Colondo helped the family even further by helping them get into their car and making sure they had everything they needed.

“She’s just the kind of person she is,” Hoover said. “She goes above and beyond for her clients.”

Hoover urged the family to call the restaurant and update them on Madelyn’s condition.

“I said, ‘God answer prayers’ and all I said was ‘I hope this dear baby is doing well'” said Colondo. She remembered that Madelyn and her own grandson looked to be about the same age and that was all she could imagine.

A little while later, the grandmother called the restaurant and told them that they were going to a local pediatrician and that the nurses at MedExpress had told them that Madelyn had only suffered minor burns.

“I was so relieved” said Colondo.

Then, two days later, the grandmother returned to the restaurant with a bouquet of flowers and a card for Colondo, and another card for the rest of the staff.

Hoover, who was sitting at the counter filling out paperwork, spoke to the grandmother, who said she should be very proud of her staff.

“I told them, I am, I have a great staff”, Hoover said. “We go above and beyond for the community. “

Colondo was touched by the show of appreciation.

“I was very surprised two days later when the grandmother brought flowers and a card” said Colondo. “She didn’t have to and I was very grateful. These people could have walked out of our restaurant and we would never have known who they were.

The family wrote in Colondo’s card that she was a wonderful waitress and an asset to her community.

“Everything you have done … shows that you are a hero” the card reads.

The personnel card indicates, in part: “Your kindness, concern and professionalism have been greatly appreciated. You helped us get through a very scary situation quickly and safely.

Mirror staff editor Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.

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