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The beer dude saved a kid’s life at Nationals Park

Aug 29, 2011, 6:41 PM EDT


The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg presents a great story of how 49-year-old beer vendor Emmanuel Marlow saved a choking kid at Nationals Park on Thursday.

Marlow, whose day job has him caring for patients with Parkinson’s, noticed a child choking while doing his rounds and didn’t see anyone taking charge to help him.

“I guess they never had experienced a first-aid situation,” Marlow said. “[The boy] was actually going to a new color. I knew I needed to jump in and do it. There was no time for hesi­ta­tion. It had to be done right then and there.”

Marlow performed the Heimlich on the boy and, on the third thrust, dislodged a piece of chicken from his throat, much to the relief of his parents.  Marlow said the boy’s mother spent 10 minutes hugging him, crying and thanking him afterwards.



  1. Bryz - Aug 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Wow, great save by the beer guy. Disappointing to see no one helped, though.

    Also, I’ve used that very picture before.

  2. cur68 - Aug 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    And beer saves the day again. Kudos beer guy. You are now a hero three times over; works for the elderly with disabilities, slakes the thirst of baseball patrons and saves children from choking. Nice. The only thing the report failed to mention was the color of this man’s cape. I hoist my beer in your direction, sir. Salut!

  3. yankeesgameday - Aug 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    The kid was choking so bad he was turning a new color and about to die and the parents weren’t taking charge of saving his life?

    Look, i have never taken a first aid class but I’ve seen those signs in restaurants that walk you through the Heimlich my whole life. It just doesn’t look so damn hard that if my son was about to DIE I couldn’t figure out how to get behind him, make a fist just under his diaphragm and push in and up hard enough to save his life.

    I mean wtf. Bad enough you take your kid to a Nationals game, you also want to be the spokespeople for dumb assesses who stand there watching your son choke to death?

    Go hang out with the folks in Florida who didn’t feed their Burmese python for a month and then left their baby out with it only to be shocked when the python killed and ate the baby.

    It’s called chemical castration. Get with it or get out.

    • cur68 - Aug 29, 2011 at 7:43 PM

      It can be tricky to recognize the need to act in the case of non-specific things like choking in children. I don’t blame anyone for just watching. In fact, the larger the crowd (i.e. the more potential rescuers there are) the more likely no one does anything. They kind of look at each other and say “Should we do something? You do something!” Its a lot like peer pressure. What if you do something and you fail? What if the kids just crying or carrying on and then you look like a fool? What if you do the wrong thing?

      Parents too, fall for this. Especially if they’ve never seen it before or in a situation where they are looking at each other and saying something like “do something! I don’t know what to do!” Parents do that even when the kid is acting up in public and embarrassing them.

      That kid was real lucky Beer Guy was there. Clearly he’d seen choking before (you have no idea how much that helps till you’ve been in the situation: trust me on this one. I’ve been there). Clearly he’d had some actual training in choking in children: the technique can be different in children. Clearly being the sort of person who makes a career caring for others really helped. Clearly selling beer is not his only skill. I’d cut the parents and the onlookers a bit of slack for this one.

      • yankeesgameday - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:58 PM

        Well said.

  4. tuftsb - Aug 29, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    To alcohol……

  5. deepstblu - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:37 AM

    Beer Man is an even greater hero than Bicycle Repair Man!

  6. Jonny 5 - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    My sister when 5 was choking and I saved her by giving her the Heimlich. I was about 14 years old at the time. I just have to say, Shame on the kid’s parents for not knowing what to do in this situation. No excuses. If you can learn to open a can of beans, you can learn the Heimlich, it may save a person’s life, and it may just be your own child’s.

  7. IdahoMariner - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I with both cur68 and Jonny 5 (but won’t condemn yankeesgameday) —
    the problem here was not so much that the parents stood by — because as cur points out, it’s hard to tell, and there’s a weird sort of tension in such a situation. Also, stuff is different for kids than adults, so you have to know the stuff that works on them without hurting them too badly in the process.

    The problem is, as Jonny 5 points out, that not enough people and not enough parents have taken first aid, or kept it up.

    Every new parent should learn child CPR, and first aid — and keep going back to refresh.

  8. IdahoMariner - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    and I can’t believe I forgot — Nice goining Beer Guy!! you ROCK!

  9. IdahoMariner - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    okay, that was supposed to be “Nice going Beer Guy!”

    I don’t know what a goining is, but at least I said it was nice, I guess.

    • cur68 - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      Didn’t notice “goining” till you pointed it our Mariner, & yeah, Beer Guy’s a hero and deserves our respect. That little fella had choked in front of all those people none of them would have forgiven themselves, which is what makes crowd dynamics so weirdly horrible sometimes. Most people are rescued by loved ones or strangers from choking when they are alone together. To do what Beer Guy did, in front of a crowd like that, that takes some fortitude. I’m not going out there and saying “I would have done the same thing” because until it happens at a ballgame or in a huge crowd, I have no idea what id have done. Doing it at work is easy; I never ask for help because I am the help. When its not my turf though, I don’t what I’d do, not really. If I ever grow up I wanna be like Beer Guy. He’s my new ball park hero.

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