BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — Today was a happy day at a local middle school. Friends were thrilled to see a friend back at school after he nearly choked on a water bottle cap.
It was the quick thinking from several people that saved his life.
"It was a scared, frantic, kind of, like, ‘‘Help me' look and his face was blue," Red Top Middle School school resource officer Duane Smith said.
Smith recalled lunch on Tuesday. He had just finished eating his chef's salad.
"He was, like, 'Go grab the teachers,' like, in a stuttering voice," student Rudra Parmar recalled.
Parmar's buddy, Ethan Hamrick swallowed a water bottle cap and needed help.
"I didn't think about the outcome. I just thought about what I was going to do and I wasn't going to stop until I was done," Smith said. "A teacher hollered, 'They think he swallowed a water bottle cap!' At that time, I knew it was on. I had to continue."
He said it felt like slow motion.
"He's 11 years old. He's a lot shorter than I am and I was talking him through it. I said ‘Hang on buddy. Hang on buddy," Smith said.
It took Smith 14 thrusts of the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the cap. He believes divine intervention had him there to help.
"I wasn't even supposed to be back on this campus yet, but something told me to head on back to Red Top," Smith said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group