December 14, 2004
Te Day and a friend conversed over lunch in a restaurant Dec. 7. Talking while trying to swallow, Day began to choke on a bite of food.
"I couldn’t swallow and couldn’t get any air," said Day, 70. "I jumped up out of the booth swinging my arms for help."
Day found herself unable to breathe and on the brink of passing out. She thought this was the end.
A man from a nearby table stepped up to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Day, working the food free from her throat.
The incident sapped Day of her energy. Although she thanked him, she didn’t catch her rescuer’s name.
"He saved my life," said Day, a Mesa resident who works as a caregiver. "I just need to find him somehow."
Pam DeWitt, a manager at that Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus at Southern Avenue and Alma School Road in Mesa, assisted Day until she could leave on her own.
DeWitt searched for the man named on the credit card receipt from his meal, but has had no luck.
"The guy that saved her was pretty shaken up," said DeWitt, an Apache Junction resident. "He definitely saved her. By the time the servers got me, that may have been too late."
Day wants another chance to show her gratitude to a stranger who reached out.
"I would like to thank him again for the marvelous way he revived me," Day said, "and gave me back my life."
Scottsdale resident Christopher Lazarus earned Eagle Scout honors last month. Lazarus is the first Eagle Scout of Troop 316, which is sponsored by La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale.
His project involved removing tamarisk plants from the creek in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area north of Cave Creek with the help of about 40 volunteers.
They also removed more than 100 yards of barbedwired fencing. He is a junior at Horizon High School and the son of Bill and Terri Lazarus.