If Jeremy Shockey can be a lifesaver for the Carolina Panthers this season like he was for teammate Ben Hartsock today, it will be a heck of a year.
Hartsock is crediting Shockey with helping save him today after Hartsock, a fellow tight end, could not breathe in the team’s lunch room. A piece of pork tenderloin lodged in Hartsock’s throat and Shockey came to the rescue, the National Football Post has learned.
“He said to me a little while ago, ‘I really hope this doesn’t get out but if it does it’s going to be a funny story,’” said Chicago-based agent Mike McCartney, who represents Hartsock.
It's more of a story with a good ending than it is a funny one. Hartsock tried drinking some water to clear his throat and when that didn’t work it became evident to others in the room he could not breathe.
“He started to go to the bathroom and I don’t know if he collapsed, but he couldn’t breathe,” McCartney said. “Some new guy came and tried to give him the Heimlich. It didn’t work. Then, Shockey hit him in the back pretty hard and out came the meat. The Panthers told me it was really scary.
“Ben told me Shockey came over and gave me the Heimlich Maneuver and saved my life. He was in good spirits and he’s real thankful for Shockey.”
The story serves as a good reminder that it’s important to know how to administer the Heimlich because you never know when a friend or teammate could be in need.
It gave the Panthers plenty to chat about on the practice field. “Don’t choke, Hartsock,” became a new line in practice.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune