WASHINGTON — The article on the Heimlich maneuver brought back a terrifying but wonderful memory to me of a luncheon meal in Canada.
My husband and I and our two children were just starting lunch. Everyone at our table was absorbed in eating, except me. A piece of lettuce had caught in my throat and I was choking, unnoticed, at first by my dinner companions, although I was reaching and trying to grab my husband's arm. My children, who were sitting across from me, were very young and not aware of the imminent disaster.
All at once, I felt two arms around me and a strong, hard push in the center of my body and suddenly I could breathe. By this time my husband was standing next to me, white as a sheet. Leaning over me and earnestly checking to see that I was all right was our waitress.
I learned, from the waitress, that all restaurant personnel must know the Heimlich maneuver. At least that's true in Western Canada.