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Heroic Little Girl Saves Her Friend From Choking The Day After Learning How To Perform The Heimlich Maneuver

It’s never too early to teach kids how to perform life-saving maneuvers in the event of an emergency. This was recently proven by one third grade girl who jumped into action when her best friend was choking at lunch.

Shailyn Ryan and her friend Keira Silvia are third-grade students at Marguerite Peaslee Elementary School in Massachusetts.

CBS Boston

Last week, the pair were having lunch together when Keira started choking on a hot dog.

My face turned red and I stood up and I started trying to swallow it, and then I couldn’t,” Keira told CBS Boston. “It was probably one of the scariest feelings I’ve ever got.”

Shailyn, who had learned the Heimlich maneuver the day before, quickly jumped up and began performing the life-saving technique on her friend.

CBS Boston

“I put my hand in a fist and then my other hand over it, and then I squeezed on her belly so she would cough up the hot dog,” Shailyn said. “I wasn’t nervous because I knew how to do it.”

Thanks to her quick action, Shailyn was able to save Kiera’s life and her parents could not be more grateful.

“I am so thankful there are no words,” said Noel Silvia, Keira’s mom.

Shailyn learned the Heimlich as part of a program run through UMass Memorial.

“Shailyn took the Home Alone program which is run through UMass Memorial and it’s the smart kids 101 program, and she took it on Tuesday, April 30 and then she saved another child’s life on Wednesday, May 1,” said Allison Lane from the Northboro rec center.

Kiera’s mom says the incident sends an important message.

“It’s really important to know that kids are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for.”

Needless to say, it was a day that these two best friends will never forget.

“The best friend that I can actually trust, I know that now I have somebody I can trust if I’m choking on a hot dog,” Keira said.

h/t: The Week, CBS Boston


Written by Emily Burns

Writer and editorial specialist based out of Austin, TX.