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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Lifesavers

On Saturday, March 20, we went with another couple for my husband’s birthday dinner at the Route 6 Cafe (formerly the Eagle Vail Cafe).

Shortly after ordering drinks and settling down to enjoy our delicious dinners, my husband suddenly turned bright red in the face and began gesticulating wildly.

I knew immediately that he was choking, but I didn’t really know how to do the Heimlich maneuver. Our friends began to try to pound, but to no avail. (This is all complicated by the fact that my husband, Steve Cohen, has Parkinson’s disease and trembles all over when he is stressed.)

Then Ollie Holdstock, the owner and operator of the cafe, came over to help. Realizing the problem, he had someone call 911 and proceeded to try the Heimlich himself.

Several guests came over to try to help, but Steve continued to choke. Casey (I don’t know his last name) from Beaver Divers, who was eating at the next table, came over with more expertise. He had my husband stand up to get a better position for the Heimlich, but my husband then fainted and fell to the floor. Casey managed to get the piece of steak to come up, and he reached in his mouth to pull it out. Truly, he saved my husband’s life.

Just at this moment, the paramedics came into the restaurant, and it was soon recognized that while Steve was no longer choking, he was “hypoxic” (low on oxygen) and had a very low blood pressure.

They took him to the emergency room of the Vail Valley Medical Center, where they tried to stabilize him. They took an X-ray of his chest, and the internist, Dr. Shiffman, was called. He saw the problem was that Steve had aspirated something to his lung, which was very cloudy. Steve spent the night with the appropriate intravenous medicines and was much improved in the morning.

March 20 was the nightmare of our lives, but we learned several things. It is very important for the average citizen to learn how to do the Heimlich maneuver, because this kind of choking can happen to anyone at any time. We also learned how kind people can be in an emergency and especially all the people from Vail who were a part of our nightmare.

We wish to thank, in particular, Casey from Beaver Divers for literally saving my husband’s life. We want to thank Ollie from the Route 6 Cafe for his wonderful help and quick thinking and for his kindness and generosity for comping our four dinners and drinks while packaging the remains of our dinners for us to take home. We want to thank all his staff for their wonderful support. We want to thank the guests at the restaurant who helped us, and we hope that all the excitement did not prevent them from enjoying the fine food prepared by Route 6 Cafe.

We also want to thank the efficient and kind personnel at the emergency room of Vail Valley Medical Center, as well as Dr. Shiffman and the terrific nurses on Steve’s floor.

Vail is not only a beautiful mountain town, but its people have now captured our hearts.

Marilyn Heller

Steve Cohen

Vail

Missing point

Hal Sundin from Glenwood made some good points in his comentario in Friday’s Vail Daily, Foco Hispano, about religious opposition to gay marriages. But in my opinion he totally missed the main point.

The issue of gay marriages has less to do with religion than he thinks. For one thing, not all of us opponents necessarily believe that “we are created in the image of God,” as he suggests. Or even that we are created period. He addresses the question of whether gay marriages threaten the sanctity of marriage. “How does the exchange of vows of fidelity between homosexuals detract in any way from the (ordinary) commitment between husband and wife?” One answer might be that it trivializes marriage. I think we agree that marriage is trivialized enough as it is, as per the divorce rate he cites. Since we’re all supposedly equal under the law, he wonders why we “persecute” gays by denying them equal family status.

The key word here is family. Society depends on the family social unit for stability. For this reason, family units are encouraged. In return, family units benefit society.

Can Mr. Sundin demonstrate how gay marriages benefit society? If the gay marriage, per se, contributes nothing, why should it be entertained? Exceptions involving infertility, etc., are beside the point. It would be absurd to define family without reference to children. Perhaps Mr. Sundin doesn’t understand the point of marriage.

Nobody is persecuting gays by denying them marital status. Equality under the law does not mean everyone is automatically entitled to the benefits others may get. To receive disability benefits, for example, one must qualify for them. In this context, gays by definition do not qualify for whatever benefits accrue to family status.

I number gays and lesbians among my valued, respected friends. I agree with Mr. Sundin that what they do in private is nobody else’s business. I cannot agree that this entitles them to unearned favorable legal status.

Jim Driver

Accept the obvious

The media keeps us informed ad nauseum about Kobe Bryant and Scott Peterson, and we pay attention just as if those two people were important. Then there’s the news from Iraq that tells us that nine Americans, including five soldiers, were killed. And that makes the headlines for just one day – until we read or hear tomorrow that two more servicemen were killed. And we don’t stop very long to think about the horror of those deaths and the effects on their families. What is wrong with our sensitivities?

We can’t do much about the Kobies and the Scotts of our civilization, but we can surely do something to stop American deaths in Iraq! We can get out of there and bring our people home. I ask you, is it worth even one more death?

Why don’t we just accept the facts that many of those Muslims hate us and will never cease fire? Why don’t we accept the obvious – that the various ethnic and religious factions in Iraq are not interested in the compromises that are essential in any successful democracy? Why in the world are we continuing with this charade?

David Le Vine


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