College student, Joanne Ruvolo, who lives in Middle Village and works in the Met Food on Eliot Avenue in Middle Village, was in the parking lot of the store on January 3rd when she noticed that a little two-year-old girl was choking and turning blue. The little girl was with her elderly grandmother but the grandmother didn’t notice that there was a problem.

Joanne went into action very quickly knowing that time is of the essence when there is choking involved. She put the two-year-old in her arms and put her feet on the tire of one of the cars for pressure and sprung into action performing the Heimlich Maneuver. Eventually the little girl let out the obstruction and was able to breathe again.

We commend Joanne Ruvolo for her quick action and as I said to her, “You are regarded as a Rock Star because of your presence of mind and immediate response to a very serious situation that could have very easily had an unhappy ending.” Joanne told me that her arms are still black and blue from holding the child during the procedure but to be sure, no complaints from Joanne. She is so happy that everything turned out so well and she can't understand all the fuss about her role in the incident! It seems that all the real heroes we read about say the same thing, “what's all the fuss?”

When you go in Met Food on Eliot Avenue make it a point to seek out Joanne who is such a humble and well-spoken young woman, and tell her how great she is for literally saving the life of a little two-year-old girl named Teresa. Teresa, too, will have her story to tell one day when she understands that a nice woman who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, saved her life in the Met Food parking lot in Middle Village by performing the Heimlich Maneuver!

There’s a lesson here for all of us. Learn how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. Hopefully you’ll never have to use it but if you do what an accomplishment to save the life of someone who is choking. Understand also, the choking victim could very easily be YOU and if so, may you be as lucky as little Theresa and there’s a “Joanne Ruvolo” nearby who can save your life! Yes, Joanne Ruvolo, you are our Middle Village Rock Star!