Bayou View Elementary kindergarten teacher saves student from choking

On Monday, a kindergarten teacher at Bayou View Elementary School in Gulfport jumped into action and saved her student’s life.

Bayou View kindergartner Ben Taylor was enjoying his lunch as usual when all of a sudden something got caught in his throat. “I choked on grape and I couldn’t breathe.”

Ben’s teacher, Erin Anderson, couldn’t see him because he was sitting with his back turned away from her. “I noticed his hands flew up around his neck.”

She yelled his name and he didn’t respond so she immediately knew something was wrong. “His face had gone completely pale and it was clear he was not breathing at all.”

Mrs. Anderson says in that moment she didn’t know what to do so she tried the Heimlich maneuver which ultimately saved Ben’s life. “A million things were going through my mind. Should I pick him up and take him to the nurse? I can’t leave the rest of the class unsupervised so my only option was, even though I have never done the Heimlich before, I thought that was the best course of action rather than wasting seconds getting to the nurse.”

School Nurse Kim Huffman says learning the Heimlich maneuver is important, especially when dealing with children. “The Heimlich maneuver, you make a fish and you put it right above the belly button, in between the belly button, and rib cage. Make a fist, put another hand on top of the fist and then you are going to want to push back and up to try to dislodge the object that’s blocking the airway.”

After Mrs. Anderson saved Ben from choking, the kindergartner tells News 25 he “went back to eating lunch.”

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