The quick thinking of Ponoka Elementary School teacher Amanda Graystone helped save the life of 5-year-old Kindergarten student Alyssa Jeffrey. She was choking on her lunch and was unable to breath until Graystone stepped in to help her. Photos submitted

Quick thinking Ponoka teacher saves choking student

Christmas will be complete for a Ponoka family after Ponoka Elementary School teacher saves student

The quick thinking of a Ponoka Elementary School teacher helped save the life of a choking student.

It was a regular lunch break for Kindergarten students Dec. 17 that quickly turned dangerous when 5-year-old Alyssa Jeffrey started to choke. Teacher Amanda Graystone was with the students when she saw Alyssa stand up holding her throat.

The teacher knew something was very wrong. “My first thought was, ‘What do I do?’”

It was a matter of seconds and she went into life-saving mode.

Graystone quickly went up to Alyssa and first patted her back to try and dislodge the stuck food. When that didn’t work she used her CPR training and attempted the Heimlich Maneuver.

It was at this point that Alyssa’s face was turning red. Graystone called to another teacher to get some help. Alyssa was starting to panic.

Graystone saw that the Heimlich wasn’t working and because Alyssa is so young she didn’t want to push too hard. So she used the next step in her training when dealing with infants who are choking by using a finger sweep in her throat.

“I looked at her and told her, ‘This is going to hurt,’” said Graystone.

That sweep located the stuck food and Graystone was able to dislodge it and pull it out. Alyssa was able to breath again. “I did everything I could to make her breath.”

What seemed like an eternity to her was probably around one to two minutes, she explained. “It was a blur.”

“It was a very stressful event,” she added.

Graystone, who also has an 18-month old baby, has taken this type of training but never actually had to use it. Her adrenaline was high for some time after.

“I still think about it. It’s still with me,” said Graystone of the experience.

Alyssa’s parents, Amanda and Kyle, are grateful that Graystone was there to help. Amanda said they were called by staff about what occurred and while on the way to the school they prayed for Alyssa’s well being.

Kyle is a former volunteer firefighter and Amanda said he went into emergency response mode. He spoke with Graystone about what happened to get an idea of the events.

Amanda was grateful to see her daughter. “I went forehead to forehead with her and I told her everything was okay,” she said.

The parents praised Graystone for doing everything she could. “She did all of her training and she went into mama mode as well,” Amanda added.

“She saved our daughter’s life just before Christmas.”

Amanda praised school administration for working with Graystone and the family to ensure everyone was taken care of. After the event Alyssa’s parents took her to the hospital to ensure she was healthy and well. Other than a little bit of a sore throat, Amanda said she was fine.

When Alyssa returned to school on Wednesday she was all smiles. “She hugged me right away when she saw me,” said Graystone.



jeff.heyden-kaye@ponokanews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Seasonal road bans for the County of Stettler declared for Monday

Road bans go into effect Monday, March 25 at 1 p.m.

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

Stettler’s Christ King Church a spectacular structure

Great submission to history book committee on Stettler’s Catholic church

Don’t leave ice huts on lake: County of Stettler

Anglers reminded to remove ice huts from lakes prior to April 1

What are you fertilizer requirements for spring?

Soil tests are still best way to determine levels at beginning of season

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read