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Choking Woman Saved By Doctor Filling in As Busboy

It was a very lucky St. Patrick’s Day for a woman in need of a life-saving assist at a Chicago area restaurant. A last-minute staffing issue left the Trifecta Grill in need of a busboy to fill in during the busy holiday weekend. Waitress Alina Benge had an idea: she would call her dad, who had recently retired. “Just because he’s had the time on his hands … and not doing a whole lot,” Benge said.

Her dad is Dr. Bill Benge, a retired Harvard-trained cardiologist, who jokes he traded his white coat for a white apron. Bartender Nicole Papalia said “this is not funny – but what happens if there’s some medical event, and he just happens to be here on this night? We were all kind of laughing in jest about it.”

But just after he arrived an elderly customer began choking on her meal. Restaurant owner Patrick O'Neil said, “He wasn’t here for more than five minutes with his apron on when a lady stopped breathing from choking.” So instead of clearing tables, Dr. Benge stepped in to clear a blocked air passage. “Did the Heimlich maneuver, which is abdominal thrusts, and she was able to clear the object,” Dr. Benge said.

His daughter said, “I kind of go back in my mind and say, what if he wasn’t here? How would that have turned out? What would the outcome be? I’m just so lucky my dad was here that night.”

Dr. Benge says it’s a good reminder that we should all take a moment to learn the Heimlich maneuver, because you don’t have to be a doctor to save someone’s life.

Possible Preaching Angle: 1) Incarnation; Humanity of Christ - Jesus served as a humble carpenter at the Father’s request (Jn. 6:38) and at the right time stepped forward to save the world (John 3:17); 2) Evangelism; Salvation; Soul Winning – Christians should be prepared at a moment’s notice to rescue the perishing.

Mike Lowe, “Choking woman saved by doctor filling in as busboy at suburban restaurant,” WGNTV.Com (3-18-19)

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