PITTSBURGH, PA — When Dylan Dowd, a third-grader at Memorial Elementary School
in Bethel Park
, was choking on a grape during lunch, school custodian John Kovach was nearby to perform the Heimlich maneuver
, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Last week, "Double D," as the 9-year-old is called, stood by "Mr. John" while the custodian received commendations from local politicians, who praised him for his quick response, the article stated.
Dylan had been eating lunch in Memorial''s cafeteria in March when he began to choke: He tried to drink water, but it sputtered back out of his mouth, the article noted.
According to the article, from 30 feet away, Mr. Kovach saw Dylan''s face and knew there was a problem: He hurried over and performed the Heimlich maneuver, freeing Dylan''s airway.
Mr. Kovach, 56, was recognized for his life-saving act at last week''s Bethel Park school board
meeting, the article added.
"Having him there at that time meant all the difference in the world," said Allegheny County
Councilman Vince Gastgeb.