Former Swede Esses saves a life

By Steve Sell
September 24, 2015
Newman University

WICHITA — A Newman University dean, who is an alumnus of Bethany College, is the talk of campus after saving the provost of the Wichita school from choking.

 The Wichita Eagle reports that Provost Michael Austin says a Starburst candy was sucked into his windpipe Tuesday when he coughed.

Newman's Dean of Students, Levi Esses, was visiting with a student worker when he noticed Austin having what he thought was a coughing fit.

 Esses says Austin initially waved his hand like he was OK. But as Austin continued walking down the hallway, he began to wheeze loudly.

 Esses asked him if he was choking, and Austin nodded his head and spread his arms. Esses performed the Heimlich maneuver on him until the candy became dislodged.

Esses later received applause from students. He says that was “kind of cool.”

Esses is a Bethany College graduate who was an outstanding wide receiver for the Swedes’ football team and still serves as a color analyst on Bethany games.

His wife, Janice, is the new head softball coach at Newman.


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