“I just want to bear you my testimony that I know that the Boy Scouts of America is a true organization, and that the fundamentals and principles that are practiced therein are also true. Yesterday, I was required to use my first responder training that I did while earning my Venturing awards. Elder Draper must have been really hungry yesterday at our eating appointment, because as he was eating his salad, he decided to eat a big gust of air at the same time, causing a chunk of tomato to get sucked down into his windpipe. I calmly saved his life, and no one was forced to call an ambulance. True story.
“We were just happily eating with Gordon and his mom, when he made a great effort to breathe, and it sounded like someone had held him underwater for 2 minutes and he had just surfaced and gasped for air. He put some garlic powder on his salad, so my first question to him was, “Are you allergic to garlic?” he shook his head in the negative and then stood up and made another effort to gasp for air. I then asked, “Are you choking?” he then shook his head yes, so I put my hand on his shoulder, pushed him back down into his chair and performed the Heimlich maneuver. After about 8 heaves, the tomato became dislodged to the point where he was able to breath and then swallow the enemy that tried to take his life.
“The silence afterwards was probably the most awkward silence I have ever felt in my entire life. Gordon’s mom asked him if he was okay, Elder Draper responded, “Yeah, that happens sometimes.” His mom then said, (in English) “Well I’m sorry that you have to deal with those challenges in your life.” It was a funny comment on her part, it was good that I didn’t laugh though.
“I’m really glad to have had that training because I probably wouldn’t have known exactly what to do. After having some experience, I now know that having the person sit in a chair isn’t the easiest way to do it, but it still worked.”
Elder Chancellor Carter Germany Berlin Mission June 16, 2014 Author: Joel Zabriskie | Chief Financial Officer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA