It’s turning out to be quite a life-saving weekend for NFL players past & present. First, Brian Bosworth helps rescue a woman trapped after a car accident. And now, Tony Gonzalez saves a man from choking to death.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that the Chiefs’ tight end was dining with family members at Capone’s restaurant in Huntington Beach, CA, Thursday night, when a man at a table next to his started choking - and no one else seemed to know what to do.
Ken Hunter was eating with his girlfriend when a piece of meat became lodged in his throat. Hunter began to turn blue, while his girlfriend screamed, “He can’t breathe!” That’s when Gonzalez sprung into action:
“The whole restaurant was quiet. Nobody was doing anything. Then I saw he was turning blue. Everybody in the restaurant was just kind of sitting there wide-eyed.”
The 6-foot-5 Gonzalez, about a foot taller than Hunter, jumped out of his chair and came up behind the stricken man and began to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
“After just a few seconds, the piece of meat popped out,” Hunter said. “I could breathe again. It’s a good thing Tony is so tall because I had stood up - I think.”
Hunter says that Gonzalez “saved my life, there’s no doubt“, adding that he thanked the All-Pro TE “about 1,000 times“. But Tony modestly hoped that his life-saving actions wouldn’t become public:
“The next night I had a dinner for my grandmother’s 90th birthday, and people were saying, ‘Why didn’t you tell me about that?’ I honestly don’t want to make a big deal out of it. But of course it does give me a lot of satisfaction to know that I was able to help somebody.”
Well, Tony should feel good about saving someone’s life. And the rest of the customers at Capone’s should feel guilty about not helping at all. If anything, hopefully the incident convinced a few more people to take CPR classes.
As for Hunter, a lifelong San Diego Chargers fan, his favorite player now belongs to a heated AFC West rival:
And what will this longtime follower of the Chargers do if they’re ahead by four or five points in the final minute and Gonzalez runs into the end zone and leaps up for what would be the game-winning touchdown for K.C.?
“I’m going to be yelling for Tony to catch the ball,” Hunter said. “I think all my friends will understand.”
As well they should. But no need to get all choked up over such a life-saving story - Hunter already did.