Heroic Black 9-Year-Old Saves Choking Classmate With Heimlich Maneuver

Heroic Black 9-Year-Old Saves Choking Classmate With Heimlich Maneuver

A 9-year-old student at Racine, Wisconsin’s Fratt Elementary School will be crowned a hero at an upcoming board meeting.

Essence “Essie” Collier, a fourth grader, jumped to her fellow classmate’s aid by performing the life-saving Heimlich maneuver on her as she choked on food, the Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, students were eating in classrooms because the cafeteria was being used for residents to vote. Collier noticed one of her classmates was showing signs of discomfort, and wasted no time in addressing the issue.

“I just saw that she was holding her neck, and I rushed up there as fast as I can,” Collier said, per the AP.

According to Samantha Bradshaw, one of the school’s teachers who was filling in during lunch, Collier bravely wrapped her arms around the student and performed the Heimlich, also known as abdominal thrusts. In a matter of seconds, the distressed student was breathing normally again.

“Out of nowhere, I see Essence get up, and kind of dart across the classroom,” Bradshaw told WISN-12 News. “I didn’t know what was going on. I kind of said, ‘Stop.'”

“I have never seen a student react in that way before,” Bradshaw continued.

Two years ago, Collier learned the first-aid technique for choking from a YouTube video. The information provided in that video may have helped her saved her classmate’s life.

“You should use the Heimlich maneuver if a person is conscious but choking. You can usually tell a person is choking if they can’t speak, breathe or cough,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. “Sometimes, their breathing and speaking becomes weaker and weaker until only gasping sounds come out. The universal choking symbol—holding your hands up and clutching your throat — is often used.”

The Racine Unified School Board will honor the fast-thinking and brave Collier in late November.