Middle school student saves teacher from choking

State - Regional

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina girl said she jumped into action when her teacher started choking.

Zoe McLain said she was in class at West Edgecombe Middle School last Wednesday when it happened.

“My teacher was sitting in class and she was eating some grapes and she started choking,” she said. “When she started banging on the table and she like pushed the table out of the way, she got on her knees, I knew something was going on.”

While her classmates ran to get help, she said she knew just what to do.

“I thought it was maybe the best idea to just go up behind her and do the Heimlich,” she said. 

Her dad taught her the Heimlich maneuver a few years ago, but she never thought she’d need to use it.

“We always tried to teach her, in any given situation, calmness prevails,” said her father, Steve McLain. “You want to see what’s going on and do the very best you can to help that person.” 

Zoe said she was scared.

“I was like, ‘I hope I’m doing this right. I hope I’m doing this right,'” she said. She said that her teacher stopped choking moments later. “She was like, ‘I can breathe again’. She was like, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ She was crying,” Zoe recalled. 

Zoe’s dad couldn’t be more proud.

“I’m on top of the world,” he said. He added that Zoe isn’t the only one who deserves credit. “Praise God for it every day. If you can save someone, a higher power was there without a doubt.” 

Zoe said her teacher wrote her a thank you note. She’s just glad she knew what to do and that her teacher is OK. 

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