LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — A first grader in Bedford is alive today because of the heroic actions of her teacher.
A special education teacher at Bedford Primary School sprang into action when she realized one of her students began choking during lunchtime on Monday.
First-grader, 7-year-old Shelby, is full of spunk and energy.
However, just a couple of days ago, things were very different.
It was a scary moment for everyone when she started to choke during lunchtime.
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"The next thing I know Shelby was going like, holding her throat, couldn't speak, she was red in the face her eyes were bugging out," Shelby's teacher, Katie Clark said.
Clark acted fast.
She first gave Shelby a hard pat on the pack, but nothing happened.
So, she knew immediately she needed to do the Heimlich maneuver.
Clark gave Shelby the Heimlich 4-5 times until she finally spit out the hotdog she was choking on.
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"At that point, it was very emotional. I mean I literally was crying," Clark said.
It was a roller coaster of emotions for Shelby's mother, Kristy Satterfield, too.
“She’s my whole world. She’s my only one and so it would break my heart if anything ever happened," Satterfield said.
Shelby was taken to the hospital just to get checked out, accompanied by Clark in the ambulance.
Satterfield met them there.
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“When they put her in the hospital bed, I just climbed in with her and just you know of course you know just elation because they saved her life," Satterfield said.
Satterfield said she is forever grateful to Clark.
“I could never pay her back the debt that holds in my heart now," Satterfield said.
Clark said she was just doing her job.
“For me personally, it was just a God moment. I was in the right place at the right time," Clark said. “Any educator in this profession would have done the exact same thing. No questions. That's what we’re here for. To help kids out.”