Quick-Thinking New Jersey Teacher Saves Student Who Was Choking on Water Bottle Cap
Janiece Jenkins, who had never before performed the Heimlich maneuver, had recently received training on what to do if a student was choking. “In the moment it was just like, OK, he needs my help, let me help him,” she said.
A quick-thinking teacher is being praised for her heroism after she helped stop a scary episode in a third-grade math classroom from becoming a catastrophe.
Robert Stonaker was struggling to get a water bottle to open when the 9-year-old put it in his teeth and squeezed to get the cap off. But the cap blew off and lodged in the back of his throat.
Terrified, he ran to a sink to try to cough it loose, but the cap would not come out, footage from surveillance cameras at the school in East Orange, New Jersey, showed.
Robert ran over to his teacher, Janiece Jenkins, who had never before performed the Heimlich maneuver. But she knew how to, as Jenkins had recently gotten training.
“In the moment it was just like, OK, he needs my help, let me help him,” she said. “You get this training. You know that it’s important to have the training, but you never really think that you’re going to have to use the training.”
With three thrusts, the cap was dislodged from Robert’s throat and his life was saved in front of the entire class.
Robert’s ordeal is the latest in a spate of incidents involving choking children. Children are especially vulnerable to choking accidents. Every week in America, a child dies in a choking accident. And every year, 12,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms for choking injuries.
“Finally when the food projected, I turned him around the color came back in his face and I knew it was all OK,” she said.
Her heroics earned enthusiastic applause from the other students.
And just last week in North Carolina, a sheriff’s deputy was on hand to save the life of a 12-year-old girl who was choking on some candy in a school corridor.
Meanwhile, Robert said he’s very grateful to his teacher.
When asked what he’d like to say to his teacher after all that occurred, he said, “I love you!”
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