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Restaurant Owner Saves 87-Year-Old Woman From Choking

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – Bette Duhaime is very thankful to be alive.

“I guess I was really a goner, and it’s really frightening to think of it,” Duhaime said, resting in her Manchester home.

On Saturday, the 87-year-old was out to dinner with friends at Theo’s Restaurant when she began to choke on a piece of lamb.

Owner Joseph Levasseur saw what was happening.

“I did what I had to do. There was a woman dying on the floor,” owner Joseph Levasseur said.

When Levasseur saw Duhaime’s face turn dark blue, he began to perform the Heimlich maneuver in her chair.

At first, Duhaime appeared to be fine but then she stopped breathing again.

“This time she turned really dark blue and I knew I had to act,” Levassuer said.

He placed Duhaime on the ground and began performing CPR. After a short time, the piece of lamb popped out and Duhaime was alright.

“I am totally indebted to him. How can I possibly thank him? I am just bewildered,” she said.

Duhaime says despite her age, she is not ready to go just yet. Twice a week she volunteers her time to drive cancer patients to their treatments.

“I guess God didn’t want me and the devil was afraid I would take over,” Bette laughed.

Joe said it’s vitally important every restaurant owner learns CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

“CPR works, it really works,” Levassuer said.

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