Last night (Saturday), while dining in a steakhouse, Ronnie Evans (my cousin) and his wife Lori, were eating with Jim and me.

When our food arrived, everyone jumped right into their food.

All were talking – I took a bite of steak – and I was unable to swallow it. I kept trying and it was lodged into my throat — I did not want to alarm anyone – but when I realized I could not breathe and started making a loud wheezing noise (of which NONE of this has ever happened to me – nor have I been around anyone that this has happened to).

I looked at Jim and he said, "are you okay?" I shook my head no and I pointed at my throat – I could not speak. Ronnie said, "are you choking"" I shook my head "yes" and he said "seriously"" and I guess he saw the look in my face and said "stand up now." I did and he came around the table and started the thrusting of his arms around my lower chest; immediately the piece of steak came out of my mouth/throat and fell to the floor.

At this point I could tell the restaurant was in total silence. Normally, I would be so embarrassed about "causing a scene" but all I cared about was how thankful I was to be breathing. Needless to say, I did not have any more food! And a couple of people came up and told me they were glad I was okay.

Ronnie saved my life. I cannot even begin to explain how fast all of this happened and how fast the end result could have been so different.

In our world of so many bad/sad things happening – and captured in our newspapers – I thought it would be refreshing for you to know about one of your (our) hometown heroes!

Gina Cox Wiertelak

Memphis