|Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the Heimlich maneuver|
to rescue people who are choking, finally got the chance to
try it himself at age 96. He saved the life of an 87 year old woman.
He invented the Heimlich maneuver, where you basically grab a choking person from behind and compress their abdomen to make them cough up whatever is choking them, thereby saving the choking person's life.
Heimlich rushed over, performed the manuever that made him famous, and the hamburger dislodged from the woman's throat.
She's just fine now, thank you.
Who knows how many thousands of lives Heimlich saved when he invented and broadcast his method. But it was the first time he had the chance to try it himself.
I'm so glad he did -- successfully - before he died so now he understands how gratifying it must be to save another person's life, up close and personal.
"That moment was very important to me. I knew about all the lives my maneuver has saved over the years and I have demonstrated it so many times, but here, for the first time, was someone sitting right next to me who was about to die," Heimlich told The Guardian newspaper.
The woman, Patty Ris, wrote Heimlich a note, saying, "God put me in this seat next to you," reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Heimlich and Ris shared a celebratory dinner together the next night. No choking was involved.
Heimlich is still fit for his age, swimming three or four times a week at the center's swimming pool and making frequent excursions out to see the symphony and other cultural events.
Still, let's face it. He's 96 years old. Not some 20 year old athletic stud. Which proves that anybody can learn and use the Heimlich maneuver.