Albuquerque School Custodian Saves Life Of Choking Fifth Grader

Last Thursday, 11-year-old Christian Ortiz Gonzales was enjoying his Frito pie during lunch at La Mesa Elementary School when a Frito chip got lodged in his throat. “I was kind of crying because I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make it,” the fifth-grader recalls.

Panicking and unable to call out for help, Ortiz Gonzales stood up and leaned against the wall, and then he collapsed. That’s when school custodian Janet Garcia rushed to his aid. With help from other staff members, she got the student up off the ground and performed the Heimlich maneuver on him. To Garcia, who learned the maneuver when her own child was a scout, it seemed to take forever, but then he finally coughed up the chip.

Ortiz Gonzales was then taken to the school nurse and allowed back to class after being checked over. Before leaving school that day, Ortiz Gonzales made sure to find Garcia and thank her with a hug. Although he admits he’s a little hesitant to eat Frito pie again, he isn’t ready to give up on them altogether. But next time, he’ll eat a little more slowly.

Source: Albuquerque Journal

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