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Mr. Heimlich Puts His Maneuver Into Practice

It's called the Heimlich maneuver—saving a choking victim with a bear hug and abdominal thrusts to eject a throat obstruction. Since its inception in 1974 it has become a national safety icon, taught in schools, portrayed in movies, displayed on restaurant posters and endorsed by medical authorities. It is also the stuff of breathless, brink-of-death tales, told over the years by famous celebrities and politicians who credit the maneuver with saving their lives.

Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, the thoracic surgeon and medical maverick who developed and crusaded for the antichoking technique that has been credited with saving an estimated 100,000 lives, died in December 2016 at the age of 96.

But more than four decades after inventing his maneuver, Dr. Heimlich used it himself on May 23, 2016 to save the life of an 87-year-old woman choking on a morsel of meat at their senior residence in Cincinnati. He said it was the first time he had ever used the maneuver in an emergency. Patty Ris, who had by chance sat at Dr. Heimlich's table in a dining hall, began eating a hamburger. "And the next thing I know, I could not breathe I was choking so hard," she said later. Recognizing her distress, Dr. Heimlich did his thing. "A piece of meat with a little bone attached flew out of her mouth," he recalled.

Possible Preaching Angles: A good example of what Christians call "practicing what you preach" or "walking the talk." Our faith needs to be put into action, not just talked about.

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