On July 12, 1988, Hecht was attending a weekly Republican luncheon when a piece of apple lodged firmly in his throat.
Hecht stumbled out of the room, thinking he might vomit but not wanting to do it in front of his colleagues. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., thumped his back, but Hecht quickly passed out in the hallway.
Just then, Kerry stepped off an elevator, rushed to Hecht's side and gave him the Heimlich maneuver -- four times.
The lifesaving incident made international news, and Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the maneuver in 1974, called Hecht to say that had Kerry intervened just 30 seconds later Hecht might have been in a vegetative state for life.
"This man gave me my life," the 75-year-old Hecht said Thursday.
UPDATE: Boy, everybody's a critic. Reader Norman Hughes takes me to task for running this: "So saving Hecht removes all doubt about the other recent truth's that have been revealed!?! Ergo, all other witnesses are liars! Is that what you are saying?"
Er, no. I just wanted to post something positive along with the negative, for a fuller picture. Meanwhile Jeff Jarvis takes me to task for paying so much attention to the Kerry/Cambodia story, comparing it to his own Howard Stern coverage.
I think that I have a ways to go before I catch up to Jeff's Stern coverage in terms of either volume or tone. But I promise to quit covering this issue so much as soon as the major media -- who certainly didn't ignore the Stern issue, or the bogus Bush/AWOL claims -- start carrying the ball.
ANOTHER UPDATE: In an update to the post linked above, Jeff says that I'm snarking at him, and that I belittled Matt Welch in this post. I certainly didn't mean to be either snarky or belittling -- I was aiming for polite disagreement, and thought I'd achieved it. I like both Jeff and Matt a lot. But I think that this is an important issue, and I would have thought that two champions of the blogosphere like Matt and Jeff would have approved my work to bring in original documents and material not available on the web, and make them part of the conversation. And given that the Kerry Campaign now seems to be admitting that the Christmas in Cambodia claim is false, I don't think I can be accused of raising phony issues. I appreciate Jeff's call to "move on" and address other issues, but I've done that too. I just think that -- given the importance Kerry has placed on all of this stuff -- this sort of dishonesty is worth noting, and I'm disappointed that the big media seem to be covering for him.