Categorized | Health

Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Heimlich hero


Dr. Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver — a procedure for unblocking the windpipe of choking victims, — will turn 91 on Feb 2. A former choking victim, whose life was saved by the maneuver, is asking other survivors to join him in thanking the doctor and wishing him a happy birthday.

Doug Newberry, who choked on piece of garlic bread in 1982 and was saved when his best friend performed the Heimlich Maneuver, has created a website dedicated to all the ‘heroes’ who have saved lives using the maneuver.

Newberry recognizes that if Dr. Heimlich hadn’t popularized the procedure in 1974, he may not have survived.

“I owe my life to his procedure,” Newberry said. “He is my hero and so is my best friend Dave Pierce, who recognized that I was choking and delivered the lifesaving blow to my stomach.”

Newberry wants to get the word out to all “survivors” and “heroes” — what he calls the people who were choking and the people who saved their lives — and ask them to send a short greeting to the doctor in time for his upcoming birthday.

Heimlich and Newberry are both residents of Cincinnati. Newberry says he has met the doctor previously and, in 1993, helped organize a 5K race for his research at the Heimlich Institute.

“I felt honored to do it for the man who is responsible for me being around today,” Newberry said.

To sign the card, visit the website and click on the “Sign The Card” link. Newberry asks everyone wishing to send a message to do so before Jan. 31 so he has time to get them printed and delivered by Feb 2.

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