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Teacher aide hailed a hero after saving choking student - abc27 WHTM

Teacher aide hailed a hero after saving choking student

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SAINT THOMAS, Pa. (WHTM) -

A volunteer teacher aide filling in on cafeteria duty is being hailed a hero in Franklin County after she administered the Heimlich Maneuver to a first grader.

Jennifer Hanson said she was just doing what she would want anyone else to do if one of her three children were choking.

"I'm just very thankful that God gave me the strength to do what I needed to do in that moment," she said.

On Thursday, Hanson said she noticed seven-year-old John Wright slumped over in his seat in Mountain View Elementary School's cafeteria. She rushed over to help him, but not before he passed out and hit his head on the ground. Hanson noticed a grape in his hand, and said she instantly realized he must be choking.

"I literally picked him up and was pulling him against me -- really hard. Hoping it wasn't too hard, but hard enough that I wanted to get the job done," she said.

The grape eventually popped out, Hanson said. At that point, the school nurse had arrived and she retreated to another room, where she began crying.

"I had so much adrenaline, and I didn't want the kids to experience any more drama," she said.

Meantime, John's mother and grandparents arrived at the school and immediately took him to Waynesboro Hospital, where he underwent a CAT scan. Luckily, there was no concussion and John only experienced a few bumps and bruises.

"I'm glad that someone was paying attention, because he very well could have died that day," mother Kayla Wright said.

"I want everybody in Franklin County to know that this woman is our hero," grandmother Dawn Wright said. "She saved John's life and there's nothing that I could repay her with -- no monetary gift that we could give. So I want everybody to know that Jennifer Hanson is our hero!"

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