Rose Berman: Seconds felt like hours as a woman choked on food at a Boynton restaurant

Officer sitting a few tables over ran to help

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Sgt. Phil Hawkins can't count the number of times he's practiced the Heimlich maneuver in training. But it came in handy Saturday when a woman started choking on her food at the Boynton Beach Longhorn Steakhouse restaurant.

92 year old Rose Berman had a piece of steak lodged in her throat.

"Her lips were turning blue, then purple," said Sgt. Hawkins. "I closed my fist, used my left hand to backup the other, placed it just under the naval and then pushed hard and fast."

Witnesses says everyone in the restaurant was on edge watching this unfold, and then there was a collective sigh of relief.

The food popped out, and the color in Rose's face returned to normal.

"Relief! She was getting air again and breathing and talking, it was great," said Sgt. Hawkins. "Her husband said thank you, this is my wife of 71 years."

Rose says Sgt. Hawkins saved her life. She encourages everyone to learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

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