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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


‘Thanks, son’

Boy save Dad from choking

Express Staff Writer

Most people have never saved a life. It’s not, fortunately, an everyday occurrence. But for one Wood River Valley 8-year old, it happened. The life he saved was his father’s.

One evening at home, Cyndi DuFur, was "doing a good mom thing and showing the kids how to dial 911 and about the Heimlich maneuver," Brad DuFur said.

A very proud Brad DuFur hugs his quick thinking son, Doug. Express photo by Willy Cook

Doug, the 8-year old, tried it out but couldn’t get his arms around his parents enough. So, Cyndi suggested that if he ever saw anyone in trouble choking, and that person couldn’t talk, then he might give the person a Soo Bak-Do punch above the belly button. Doug has taken the Korean form of martial arts for five years.

A week or so later, on Feb. 17, the whole family, including Doug’s siblings Daniel, 6, and Christina, 3, went to Boise for a concert. They made a run to the Boise Town Square mall first.

While Cyndi was shopping on another level, Brad took the kids to his favorite place, Dairy Queen.

"We found a bench that was in a deserted area and while we were eating our ice cream I sucked in a large piece of the sugar cone," DuFur said.

"I was too cavalier, it didn’t move so I kept trying to swallow. I stood up looking for an adult, but no one was around. I wasn’t breathing, in or out, not one bit."

At this point DuFur started to panic.

"Okay, this is the end of his life," Doug recalled. "It was so scary because I was worried about him. He was blue."

DuFur had reached crisis point.

"I had both hands around my throat and I was getting dizzy. The kids were blurry. Dougie said, ‘Bye Daddy.’ I had gotten to a point where my throat was spasming."

A moment later, there was a blur as Doug punched his father above the belly button to dislodge the cone and save him.

Though he was still wheezing and unable to talk, DuFur could hear Daniel saying, "Are you dying?"

"They were rubbing my back and I kept giving them a thumbs-up. I thought I’d be able to breathe easier, but I couldn’t."

Doug said he didn’t even think about the punch. One minute he was watching his father losing a battle and the next he punched.

"I was having butterflies because I really wanted it to work. I felt like I was a hero."

Doug is a hero in his class at The Community School, where he told the story and demonstrated what he’d done. He also got a Beyblade, a hot new toy, when his father treated them all to a shopping spree at Toys R Us immediately after the incident.

"We’re trying to celebrate it as a whole positive thing," DuFur said. "He remembered what Mom told him. It’s good for parents to talk to their kids about this and have them practice."

When Cyndi told Oliver Whitcomb, Doug’s Soo Bak-Do instructor, what Doug had done, he said, "You owe me dinner."

"My family feels it all came together for a reason," Cyndi said. "We had a five-minute talk one night and a week later this happens. It was weird. Brad had little angels around him."


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.