The Shmooze

Iraq Vet Saves Rabbi's Wife From Choking at Yankee Stadium

By Laura Sinberg

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This will show you never to eat stadium food.

At Yankee Stadium yesterday, the wife of a prominent New York rabbi was saved from choking to death by an Army medic who had served in Iraq.

It all started when Toby Weiss, wife of Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, began choking on a piece of kosher London broil. (Hey, at least it was kosher.)

Several people tried to assist her, to no avail, and Toby began turning blue when a savior in a Don Mattingly jersey appeared. John Stone, 38, a staff sergeant with the Connecticut National Guard was sitting about 15 rows behind Toby. He sprang into action and performed the Heimlich maneuver right there behind home plate, ridding Toby of the half-masticated chunk of beef.

“Suddenly this kind of Elijah figure appeared from nowhere. He knew exactly what to do.” Rabbi Avi Weiss told the Daily News, adding that Stone is “a great hero,” Following the incident Toby was checked out at the stadium infirmary, and, after being given a clean bill of health, returned to her seat to thank Stone. “I said to him, ‘I’m a big Yankee fan, but I really didn’t want to die in Yankee Stadium,’” she told the Daily News.

For Stone, who was there with his brother Jamie, an Army infantry soldier on leave from Afghanistan, the day was filled with firsts. It was his first visit to Yankee stadium, and his first time performing the Heimlich.

“I treated soldiers a lot worse than her, but this is the first time I’ve ever done [the Heimlich],” Stone told the paper.

Unfortunately, the Yankees lost 3-5 to the Los Angeles Angels. Better luck next time.


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