Dr. Heimlich uses his maneuver for first time

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 21:17:49-04

CINCINNATI -- Maitre d' Perry Gaines said it was a quiet evening at Deupree House in Hyde Park.

At least, it was, until one of his servers ran into the kitchen. A resident was choking.

"I couldn't breathe," Patty Gill Ris said.

By what some may call a cosmic coincidence, Gill Ris was seated next to Dr. Henry Heimlich, namesake inventor of the Heimlich maneuver.

By the time Gaines ran to the table to help, Heimlich was way ahead of him.

"I got my arms from behind her... made a fist," he said.

It was all over in just a few seconds. A piece of choking material came out.

"I'm proud and happy," she said. "I would have died."

Thousands of people around the world have used the Heimlich maneuver, which the doctor developed in the early 1970s.

But until that night, Heimlich had never actually used it himself.

"I watched history happen," Gaines said.

It also may go down in history as one of the more unique ways to start a friendship.

"He asked me to have dinner with him," Gill Ris said.

"I think we'll be good friends from now on," Heimlich said.