When he heard that a resident was choking, Perry Gaines, maître d’ for the Deupree House dining room, ran toward the table.
Gaines has been trained in the Heimlich maneuver and has performed it at least twice in the two years he has worked at the Hyde Park senior living facility.
When Gaines arrived at the table, Dr. Henry Heimlich, a 96-year-old resident of the Deupree House who invented the famous technique for clearing a blocked airway, was standing behind the woman, ready to perform it.
Typically, a staff member would do it. “But,” Gaines said, pausing, “it is Dr. Heimlich.”
Heimlich, who swims and exercises regularly, was able to dislodge a piece of hamburger that had become stuck in 87-year-old Patty Ris’s airway.
Gaines said the entire room, filled with 125 diners, focused on the table, which was near the center of the room. Ris recovered quickly, and everyone returned to their meals.
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