Mr. Speaker, I would take a moment today to publicly thank Joanne Johnson, a postal worker from my district, who recently saved the life of a 4-year-old boy who had swallowed a quarter and was choking.
On a recent dreary Monday morning, Joanne was delivering mail on a rural route in her hometown of Hopwood, PA, when she heard the screams of Rosemary Bradshaw who was standing on her front porch.
Not really knowing what was wrong, Joanne jumped out of her mail truck and ran to the woman's aid. Mrs. Bradshaw's son, John Kenneth Thorpe, Jr. stood nearby in obvious distress, unable to breathe. Luckily, Joanne had built up a relationship with John since she began delivering the route in early spring. Daily the boy would raise the flag on his mailbox, even if there was nothing to pick up, just so he could chat and laugh with her. While Joanne had no formal training in CPR or the Heimlich maneuver, she coaxed him to come to her. She quickly flipped him around and squeezed him tightly. Fortunately the quarter popped out and John began to breathe again.
Local postal officials intend to recognize Joanne for her heroism. As they correctly state, daily Postal Service workers across the country, like Joanne, help citizens in distress, but rarely are these events ever reported on the evening news.
Joanne, naturally, does not see herself as a hero. She says she was just a the right place at the right time and would not hesitate to help again, if she could.
But I know that is not the case. Joanne is a very special person and her family and neighbors and coworkers should be very proud of her. More importantly, each and everyone of us should try and emulate her efforts to reach out to others in need.
Not surprisingly, little John knows a friend when he sees one. Lately, he has been leaving cards and presents for Joanne in the mailbox. She has been leaving him candy.
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