West’s quick action saves choking man

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2025
Ken West of Perry, center, was thanked Monday for his life-saving promptness in using the Heimlich maneuver earlier this month on a choking Hy-Vee kitchen worker. Jenny Hornsby, left, Dallas County Hospital public relations manager and board member of the Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce, and Matt May, store director of the Hy-Vee, rewarded West for his good deed on behalf of the Perry community.

The Heimlich maneuver is a method of forcibly expelling matter from the trachea of a choking person.
The Heimlich maneuver is a method of forcibly expelling matter from the trachea of a choking person.

Great presence of mind by Ken West of Perry saved a man’s life in mid-July.

West was dining at a local grocery store when he spotted a kitchen worker choking. Springing into action, West promptly performed the Heimlich maneuver on the young laborer, clearing his airway and saving the man’s life.

West was thanked Monday for his quick actions with tokens of gratitude from the Perry community, including the Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas County Hospital and the Perry Hy-Vee.

Jenny Hornsby, representing both the Chamber and DCH, rewarded West for his life-saving heroism, and Perry Hy-Vee Store Director Matt May presented West with a $50 gift card.

The Heimlich maneuver was named after Dr. Henry Heimlich, who first described it in 1974. The technique involves standing behind a choking person and using the hands to thrust sharply upward on the bottom of the diaphragm. When successful, as in West’s deployment, the maneuver compresses the lungs and forcibly expels any object lodged in the trachea.

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