Colleague Performs Heimlich on Rep. Schakowski

Kendrick Meek performed the Heimlich on choking Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky

By Todd Wright
|  Monday, May 10, 2010  |  Updated 3:21 PM CDT
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Rep. Jan Schakowsky

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Politicians are often called "real American heroes" by their constituents and supporters on the campaign trail, but rarely that's the case.

Unless you're U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida, who saved the life Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowski, who was losing a battle with a turkey sandwich.

Meek, a former Florida state trooper, performed the Heimlich maneuver on Schakowsky last month in a dining hall in Washington, according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill political blog.

Meek was sitting at the table next to Schakowsky when the Democrat swallowed and the turkey sandwich went down the wrong pipe. The Miami native sprung into action and hugged the weezing woman from behind and then pounded Schakowsky on the back until she spit up the chunk of food.

Tough love from a fellow Democrat, but life-saving all the same. Schakowsky believes she would have surely died if not for the fast action of Meek.

"This was no joke. I couldn't breathe at all, and I was really scared," she said at a a fundraiser in Chicago last week. "Kendrick Meek is a great guy, he even saved my life!"

Now that's what you call an endorsement.

Trying to save others is nothing new for Meek. He has been instrumental in efforts to rebuild and find funding to help people in Haiti after the devastating earthquake earlier this year.

Meek, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat against Republican candidate Marco Rubio and newly independent Gov. Charlie Crist, is trailing both by pretty significant margins in the most recent polls.

But there's no denying the Miami resident truly is a real hero.

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