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The Doane men's basketball team traveled to Orlando, Fla., prior to Christmas to participate in the Disney Challenge. The Tigers went 1-1 in their pair of games and played an extremely talented team in Westminster College (Utah) on the second day. However, it is not the games that will be remembered by one young man, Jack Lind.
Lind is a junior from Hastings, Neb. Standing at 6-10, the center has been a part-time starter for the Tigers the past year and a half. On one December day, it wasn't about being a basketball player.
On the evening of December 18, after the Westminster game, Jack was walking back to his hotel room after picking up something to eat when he saw a woman frantically talking to a pair of younger females. The woman did not speak English but Lind could tell something was wrong. He dropped his food and ran over to the women and even though he could not understand everything the frantic woman was saying, he knew something was wrong by her hand gestures.
"She made a movement like she was cradling a baby and then put both hands around her throat showing that someone was choking," Lind said.
Jack acknowledged that he understood the woman and he followed her to the room that was approximately 50 feet away where a man was shaking a young boy who was choking.
"The boy was really blue in the face so I grabbed him from his father and slapped him once on the back. When that didn't work, I got behind him to perform the Heimlich and it took one thrust to get what look like a piece of meat out."
Jack had never been certified in first aid/CPR but when he was younger, his father did the same thing for his sister during a Thanksgiving meal. From that point on he says, they would watch Rescue 911 on TV which helped him learn the proper techniques.
After the child was breathing again, Lind says his mother came over to him and thanked him with a huge hug.
"Not once during the whole interaction did any of them say a word to me, everything was by gestures. After she gave me a hug, she went over and hugged her boy and husband while still crying. Her husband gave me a thumbs-up to let me know everything was okay."
Lind said he returned to his room in shock because he couldn't believe what had just happened in such a short time. He told his teammates the story and they all congratulated him.
"I feel fortunate that I was in the right place at the right time. I didn't go eat right away with the rest of the team because I was frustrated with the game that day. It was meant to be, I knew what to do when others didn't."
He could have easily ignored the situation from the start and just gone back to his room but Jack saw something was wrong and reacted and helped as most of us would hope we would do.