Teachers save choking students at Delaware school

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Teachers save choking students at Pleasantville school. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on November 1, 2017. (WPVI)

A teacher in Delaware is being called a hero for jumping into action and helping save one of her students who was choking. But this is not the first time a teacher has done this at this school.

These teachers are two examples about the benefits of knowing what to do when someone is choking, and not hesitating to help.

Last week in a classroom at Pleasantville Elementary School in New Castle, Delaware, 5th grader Landon Garrity was eating a pear at his desk during snack time.

His teacher Laura Oakley was at another table and spotted Landon then at the water fountain, struggling.

"He turned around and made the sign that he couldn't breathe," Oakley said.

Oakley shows us now how she sprang into action to perform the Heimlich maneuver, also called abdominal thrusts on Landon. Just one squeeze and it she says cleared his airway.

"Just thankful he was okay," she said.

She is also thankful she took a CPR class, and learned the lifesaving technique.

Landon and his mother are also incredibly grateful.

"I honestly am just happy that the teacher had enough time to get up and save me," Landon said.

"My kids are my world, so it's a big deal," added Melissa Garrity.

And this isn't the first save at Pleasantville.

Art teacher Holli Millman was on lunch duty last year when a kindergartner started choking on a meatball.

She has no recent, formal training on the Heimlich but "I see it on TV, in high school learned about it, so I just did a guestimate of where the diaphragm might be. I didn't even think about it, not enough time. But it worked, it worked," said Millman.

And as a nurse, I say training is great to have, but even without training almost anyone can do the Heimlich maneuver. It doesn't have to be perfect to work. The important thing is to act quickly.

There are demonstration videos on my 6abc Facebook page.
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