It’s bad luck to start choking on a bite of hamburger during what’s supposed to be a pleasant dining experience at your senior living facility.
But it’s very good luck to be sitting next to Dr. Henry Heimlich.
Today Patty Ris, 87, is alive – and thankful. And Dr. Heimlich, who is 96 years old and lives in the same Cincinnati seniors building as Ms Ris, finally understands what tens of thousands of others have already experienced: How it feels to rescue someone using the Heimlich manoeuvre.
The dining room’s maître d’ points out that the technique is actually quite a physical feat for someone who is not exactly young and spry. He also noted that staff would normally prevent residents from trying to administer first aid on one of their own in a medical emergency. “But I noticed it was Dr. Heimlich and he was doing the manoeuvre,” he told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “I stepped back and let Dr. Heimlich continue on.”
What does the retired surgeon have to say about the unexpected turn of events? “I sort of felt wonderful about it, having saved that girl,” he told the reporter. (Side note: Is it not adorable that he refers to an 87-year-old woman as a “girl”? If he were any younger, we wouldn’t give him a pass on that one…)
“I knew it was working all over the world,” he added. “I just felt a satisfaction.”
According to some reports, this may not actually have been the first time Heimlich used his own lifesaving technique. But if that’s the case, it’s certainly slipped this doc’s mind by now. You can forgive him; the guy is, after all, almost 100 years old.
And if his memory isn’t perfect, his heart certainly makes up for it.