Boy Scout Saves Life With Heimlich Maneuver

January 30, 2009

By Rich Peck* 

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Members of a foods class at Branham High School in San Jose, California were eating scones they had prepared earlier in the morning. Joshua Witsch started to choke; he turned red and he couldn't breathe. Classmates realized Joshua was choking and looked around to find someone to help.


Daniel Mendoza, a 5-foot-5 inch, 180-pound class member, positioned himself behind 6-foot-4-inch, 285-pound Joshua, and struggled to get his arms around him to perform the Heimlich maneuver. After several attempts, Daniel dislodged the obstruction, allowing Joshua to breathe on his own. No other medical attention was needed.

Daniel Mendoza is a Life Scout whose troop meets at Cambrian Park United Methodist Church in San Jose. Ted Kraynick, a charter organization representative to the church from Boy Scout Troop 373, asked Cambrian Park pastor, the Rev. Charlotte Bear, to present the Life Scout with a Good Samaritan Award.

The Good Samaritan award was created by United Methodist Men to honor young people from 12 to 21 who demonstrate the attributes of the Good Samaritan described in Luke 10:25-37. Recipients must be a United Methodist or registered with a youth-serving agency related to a United Methodist Church, and must be nominated by adults familiar with the youth's service.


For information about the Good Samaritan Award, contact Office of Civic Youth-Serving Agencies/Scouting, General Commission on United Methodist Men, P.O. Box 340006, Nashville, TN 37203-0006.


*Rich Peck is the communications director for the General Commission on United Methodist Men.