Teacher's Assistant Saves 5-Year-Old Choking On A Penny: 'He Was Gasping For Air'

The teacher's assistant said this was the first time in 17 years she had been forced to perform the Heimlich on a student.

An Oklahoma teacher's assistant is being lauded as a hero for springing into action and rescuing a 5-year-old boy choking on a penny.

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Ginger Maxville, from Mannford, told KTUL that she originally thought it was a joke, saying: "I thought he was teasing me and just not following my instructions, and not sitting down."

As shown in the footage, Maxville was behind the wheel as Cameron, 5, was fighting with another boy on the bus.

Maxville stopped the bus to lecture Cameron but quickly realized that the situation was quite serious when the boy's sister also stood up and told her: "I think he swallowed a coin."

When Maxville saw that the student was "red and gasping for air," she secured the bus, quickly went to the seats and grabbed the student, she told KTUL.

Bus surveillance captured Maxville holding Cameron in the middle of the aisle, where she performed the Heimlich maneuver.

"I was surprised when I look back at the video myself," Maxville later told IE.com. "I  was amazed I seemed so calm. I didn't think I felt that calm at the time."

"It's okay, you're throwing up now," Maxville can be heard saying, as the boy gagged and coughed up the coin.

"I heard it hit the floor, then I saw it rolling," Maxville told KTUL, relieved.

"Don't you do that again okay? You scared me to death," Maxville can be heard saying in the video after the ordeal.

The 5-year-old boy responded by asking Maxwell for the coin back. She gave it back to him after he promised not to swallow it again.

Read: Autistic Teen Saves Choking Classmate After Learning Heimlich Maneuver From 'SpongeBob'

Maxville tole IE.com that following the incident, the student's parents surprised her with flowers and candy, "I just cried. It's just been overwhelming. It's so sweet when people pour their hearts out --- I'm just not really used to that."

'Dr. Steve Waldvogel, superintendent of Mannford Public Schools, told InsideEdition.com that he was impressed by how calmly Maxville dealt with the emergency.

"That's the part that was remarkable in the whole situation," he said. "She just did [the Heimlich], but at the same time, she took care of him afterwards."

Waldvogel said that while the district has been singing her praises, Maxville has been "modest" about the extra attention.

"It shows such a good side of what people don't appreciate sometimes in education," Waldvogel said. "These people are taking care of their kids. It shows the fact that she cares."

He now plans to use the tape to train future bus drivers on how to properly handle a similar situation.

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