CBS New York
A New Jersey teacher saved the life of one of her third-grade students after the child got a bottle cap stuck in his throat.
JaNiece Jenkins, a teacher at East Orange Community Charter School, sprang into action when she heard her student Robert coughing, CBS New York reported. The frightening ordeal took place in Jenkins’ classroom on Wednesday, by NJ.com.
While she initially thought Robert was clearing his throat, she realized he was choking when he ran towards her. Jenkins then performed the Heimlich maneuver and cleared the plug from Robert’s airway.
“I just took action,” the teacher told CBS. “Afterwards, I was relieved. I was relieved that he was okay and that he was safe. But then I was like, ‘Oh my God, did that really happen?'”
Robert had tried to open his water bottle with his teeth as his class’ math lesson started around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday and began choking when he pressed the bottle, NJ.com reported. .
“I saw he needed help and just sprung into action to help him. He couldn’t breathe, his face was quite pale and he looked desperate on his face,” Jenkins told NJ Advance Media, according to the outlet.
“He ran up to me and couldn’t speak so he was pointing at his throat. Then I just went to do the Heimlich maneuver and luckily she got out and he was fine,” she continued.
Jenkins is familiar with first aid; she was trained in CPR and first aid as a preschool teacher and recently refreshed her CPR skills by taking a course, according to NJ.com.
The educator told NJ Advance Media that Wednesday’s scare marked the first time she performed the Heimlich maneuver “for real.”
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“Once he was safe, I took him to the nurse and I felt 100% better,” she said. “Then my emotions got the better of me in hindsight thinking about what could have happened. Thank God I was able to do what I did. This is my first time doing the [Heimlich maneuver] for real. I’m glad it worked out.”
Now Jenkins is recognized for her heroic actions. The teacher will receive an award and proclamation from East Orange Mayor Ted Green and Congressman Donald Payne Jr., according to CBS New York.