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Take a Break: Teacher Hailed as a Hero
GLENS FALLS -- A local teacher's aide might deserve something more than an apple from one of her students! She's now being called a hero at Jackson Heights Elementary School! Last week, one of its students was choking and without thinking twice, she sprang into action.Kathy Holser has been a teacher's aide at the school for about eight years. But she ended up giving all of her students a lesson on doing the right thing nobody felt coming.
"I just did what anyone else would do you see a child in distress and you don't even think about it you just do it," Holser said.
Breakfast time at school and all of a sudden, little first-grader Owen Harrington was ready to start class. But finishing up his food, something went down the wrong way.
"I choked on a piece of cereal," Harrington said. Frosted flakes, specifically. Holser was in the cafeteria.
"I felt a tug on my shirt and I turned around owen was standing there and he was just like this with his hands in the air and his eyes were filled with tears," Holser said.
Owen did what he could to tell her what was wrong. He pointed to his throat and Kathy knew Owen was choking. She wasted no time beginning the Heimlich maneuver. She heard something come out, but didn't see anything. So, Owen in tow, went down to get the nurse.
"I just picked him up and ran out of the cafeteria and when we got out in the hallway he started making more sounds," Holser said. "I put him down and I said buddy can you talk he said yeah I said okay!"
Kathy had never performed the Heimlich before, let alone on a kid. "My son is a lifeguard and we always play this game, 'what would you do if,'" she said. "We just talk about it sometimes so that's how I knew."
Owen is fine now. Recounting the story, he's a man of few words. But the ones he has carry great gratitude. "She helped me," he said. "Thank you."
The school's principal wanted everyone to know about the difference Kathy, or Mrs. Holser, made.
"We made her hero of the day," said Carrie Mauro. "She just showed how great we already knew she was."Owen's mom came in this morning with after breakfast with a card she, Owen, and his father had signed with a rose. All that mattered to Kathy was that Owen was okay