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Man Saves Friend Who Was Choking On Corn Chips

By Ken MacLeod, WBZ-TV
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Joe Milan and Bob Walenski.

Joe Milan and Bob Walenski.

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ASHLAND (CBS) – ‘Noodle’ and ‘Squeek’ are longtime friends.

But their bond got a little tighter at the Ashland Fish and Game Club on Tuesday.

“If he wasn’t there I was done,” says ‘Squeek.’ “I was all done.”

“The adrenaline definitely takes hold of you,” says ‘Noodle.’

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports

‘Squeek” and ‘Noodle’ are nicknames, of course.

Their real names are Joe Milan and Bob Walenski, respectively.

Milan was working alone before hours at the place, chowing down on a hot dog and some Fritos, when he began choking on the chips.

“At that point it was like someone hit the dimmer switch,” says Milan — the club’s President. “It turned the lights off. I mean, I was just going down and out.”

Lucky that Walenski just happened to stop by.

“I think I was more frightened than he was,” says Walenski, “because I thought ‘I’m the only guy here who can save the man’s life — and he’s my buddy.'”

Walenski had never been taught the Heimlich Maneuver.

He’d only seen it done on TV.

But when he scrambled behind the bar and grabbed his collapsing friend, he figured he’d better give it his best shot.

“So with all my might — as fast and as hard as I could,” a wide-eyed Walenski recounted, “I biffed him right in the solar plexus.”

‘Noodle’ weighs just 130 pounds and ‘Squeek’ is a big fella.

But the skinny guy forced his friend’s lunch up, and broke his rib at the same time.

“That’s okay,” chuckled Milan. “He can bust as many ribs as he needs to. It was worth it.”

When we caught up with him, Milan was making supper at home, amazed that after motorcycle wrecks and cancer scares, a corn chip almost did him in.

But he was thankful nonetheless.

“I really appreciate it more than he has any clue,” says Milan of his friend.

Meantime, ‘Noodle’ was enjoying a beer over at the club — staying humble.

“I didn’t even know I did that,” says Walenski, a 52 year old carpenter. “It happened so fast.”

Milan admits the experience has changed him a little.

The 55 year old says he’s not about to run off and join a religious cult or anything, but it did re-energize him about the importance of helping others.

He’s also like to arrange for Heimlich and CPR lessons at the club.

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