Bronx, NY – Reunited Thursday night with the hero in pinstripes who saved her from choking on food at Yankee Stadium, a Bronx rabbi’s wife exclaimed, “I would be dead without you.”
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you,” Toby Weiss told John Stone, the Army medic and Iraq veteran who rushed to her rescue during the first inning of Wednesday’s game. “Without you, I don’t know where I would be.”
Weiss, who is married to Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, hugged Stone and invited him to pray at her synagogue.
“I’m just glad you’re okay, honestly,” Stone told Weiss when he visited her home Thursday night.
“We’re connected now,” Weiss, wearing a pink Yankees cap, told Stone. “It’s not a one-shot deal. I would be dead without you.”
Stone, 38, was sitting about 15 rows behind Weiss when she began choking on a piece of kosher London broil. Stone sprang into action and performed a life-saving Heimlich maneuver.
“I’m too young to die,” Weiss, 66, told Stone.
She insisted that Stone was heaven-sent.
“God sent me an angel,” said Weiss, noting that her unassuming hero was blushing over the praise.
She joked that she was “turning blue,” and Stone responded, “It’s colorful.”
A die-hard Yankees fan, Weiss decorates her Riverdale home with Bronx Bombers memorabilia – including a picture of herself with ex-Yankees skipper Joe Torre.
Her collection grew by two items after her rescue. The Yankees provided Weiss with a bobblehead doll and a team media guide after her brush with death.
The team moved Stone and his brother, an Army infantry soldier on leave from Afghanistan, to the front row and plied them with all the food and booze they could handle.
“I was so scared,” Toby Weiss said of her near-fatal encounter. “My husband kept saying, ‘Help us! Help us!’ That made me feel even more scared.
“I was really in trouble. I couldn’t swallow, and I couldn’t spit it out,” she said. “Then I saw those big hands around me.”
The Montville, Conn., man – who wore a Don Mattingly No. 23 jersey to the game – was making his first visit to the new Yankee Stadium.
“I thank God that he sent John to the Stadium that day,” said Weiss.
The phones were ringing off the hook at both the Weiss and Stone homes yesterday with calls of congratulations and thanks.
“If I had another baby, I’d name him John Stone – boy or girl,” Weiss told her rescuer. “Without you, I don’t know if I’d be here today.”