Liberty County 4th grader saves choking student - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Liberty County 4th grader saves choking student

HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) -

A fourth grade student in Liberty County is being hailed as a hero for saving the life of a fellow classmate choking during lunch, but she says she was just doing what she was taught in school.

Just a normal lunch day at Taylors Creek Elementary in Hinesville, but what happened here two weeks ago was anything but ordinary.

“Ryan was choking. He started gagging, his face was turning red,” said Mariyah Carter.

Carter jumped into action because she saw her fellow fourth grader and friend Ryan Lippy choking on a piece of bread.

“When I was talking to my friends When I was eating a piece of bread, when I was about to chew it, I accidentally swallowed it and it got stuck in my throat,” said Lippy.

“He did this (pointing to hands grabbing neck),” said Carter.

“When I started putting my hands around my neck, when I stand up Mariyah saw me and she went around the table and did the Heimlich on me,” said Lippy.

“We had a fourth grader save another fourth graders life,” said Assistant Principal Tamela Scharnagl.

Mariyah says she learned the Heimlich Maneuver technique from the school nurse, Alyssa Lanier. 

“It was the benefit of using the doll, because it wasn't something she heard about or saw on TV. She had done it multiple times on the doll,” said Lanier.

At Taylors Creek, learning the Heimlich Maneuver isn't an option, it’s part of the curriculum for fourth and fifth graders.

“Always pay attention,” said Lanier. “She's very humble about it, she didn't say I'm the one who did the Heimlich, or I'm the one that saved his life after I took Ryan to the nurse. He told me and I came back and said ‘who is Mariyah?’ I knew Mariyah but wanted to make sure I had the right child, she said ‘I'm Mariyah.’”

“It makes me feel happy and a little embarrassed, because everyone won’t leave me alone, it's like I’m popular now,” said Carter.

The hassle of being a hero, but one person who will never forget is Ryan.

“Thank you that you saved my life,” said Lippy.

“He's my friend. Friends always help each other, and wishing we could all have friends like that,” said Carter.

The dolls the students trained with are from a company called Heimlich Heroes. The school nurse says it’s completely free, all you have to do is contact the company, they will send a boy and a girl doll that can be used to training at any school.  You can find out more information by clicking here.

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