Choking fan saved by pitcher's doctor dad

July 11th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dr. Willie Ross, the father of Nationals pitcher , saved the life of a fan midway through Saturday’s 10-4 San Francisco win over Washington at Oracle Park, performing the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge three pieces of hot dog.

Ross, whose wife, Jean Ross, is a pediatric ER nurse, saw that the fan was having difficulty during the middle of the game. The fan, who was a nurse for 53 years at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, gestured to Ross that she was all right. When Ross came over, however, the fan couldn’t talk.

That’s when Ross sprang into action. Ross helped dislodge the first two pieces of hot dog, but the woman still couldn’t speak. After dislodging the third and final piece, which Ross said was as big as his thumb, the fan was once again able to talk. Ross received a resounding standing ovation from nearby fans.

Ross, a pediatrician who trained at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, said the incident was “low on the totem pole” of what he’s witnessed.

“She was thankful, she was grateful, but she was also a little embarrassed because she is a nurse, and so she’s used to giving, not receiving,” Ross said.