Yesterday in cold Quebec, my nephew Yannick, age 13, saved his grandmother’s life.

She was choking on a piece of meat, airway obstructed and waved at him asking for the Heimlich maneuver, which by an extraordinary miracle – or absolute rational thinking – she had demonstrated in the past.

He kept at it until, after what she estimates to have been one to two minutes, in other words an eternity, the obstruction cleared and she was breathing again.

A few facts brought back to mind: life is precious and fleeting. Chew well. Learn first aid, it works. And not all superheroes wear a mask and cape. The ability to stay cool and act appropriately when under extreme pressure is indeed a superpower.

Bravo, Yann! We proudly love you! 

Three generations from left to right: Vince, SuperYann and Germaine
Photo Marie Viljoen, December 2009