But during a birthday celebration for his wife, Annabel, at a Red Lobster restaurant in Brownsville last week, Martin Jr., 12, was provided an unexpected firsthand lesson.
During their meal, Brophy noticed an elderly woman choking on her food. After watching the women’s son unsuccessfully dislodge the food from the women’s throat, sprang into action.
“I’m the kind of guy who is always aware of my environment,” Brophy said. “All of a sudden, the lady gave the universal sign that she was choking. I was thinking, ‘That lady is choking and no one is doing anything.’ ”
Brophy went to her table and grabbed the woman, who could not speak English, from behind to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. After a couple of thrusts, she food came popping out.
“Whatever it was, she tried to eat the rest of it,” Martin Jr. said.
“Yeah, Red Lobster is not cheap,” Brophy said with a laugh.
Brophy said he learned the Heimlich Maneuver while working with Easter Seals years ago and recalled witnessing a similar situation when he was his son’s age.
“We were visiting family in Midland and my mom started choking,” Brophy said. “My uncle had just seen or read about the Heimlich maneuver and was able to get my mom breathing again. I guess that stuck with me.”
Brophy said his wife has also performed the maneuver to dislodge food from a choking victim approximately 30 years ago.
“I come from a long line of Heimlich users,” Martin Jr. said.
Brophy said the women’s son thanked him over and over for potentially saving his mother’s life.
“I was thinking I was going to get a free meal from him, but no,” Brophy joked.