DR Henry Heimlich, 96, who is credited for inventing the lifesaving technique to stop choking, had to use the move for the first time this week to save an 87-year-old woman.
Dr Heimlich leapt to the aid of an 87-year-old fellow senior home resident this week, after noticing she was choking on a hamburger.
“I ordered a hamburger, and the next thing I know, I could not breathe I was choking so hard,” new resident Patty Ris told The New York Times.
The doctor, who leapt into action in the middle of the evening meal, developed the first aid technique back in 1974. It involves ending an obstruction in a choking person’s airway by giving a hug from behind and squeezing the person’s abdomen.
“I saw her face was all stiffened up and her skin was turning dark and she could not speak,” Dr Heimlich told the Times. “Of all things, I knew she was choking.”
“After three compressions, this piece of meat came out, and she just started breathing, her whole face changed,” Dr Heimlich said. “I sort of felt wonderful about it, just having saved that girl. I knew it was working all over the world. I just felt a satisfaction,’
“When I used it, and she recovered quickly,” Dr Heimlich told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “it made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”
A staff member at the home in Ohio said residents went back to dining after Heimlich’s lifesaving manoeuvre.
Phil Heimlich is the surgeon’s son and told the newspaper: “Just the fact that a 96-year-old man could perform that, is impressive.”
Ms Ris, who wrote Dr Heimlich a thankyou note, said she randomly selected the seat in the dining room because she is a new resident at Deupree.
“When I wrote my thank you note to him for saving my life, I said, ‘God put me in that seat next to you, Dr. Heimlich, because I was gone, I couldn’t breathe at all,”’ she said.