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Off Duty Firefighter Saves Choking 9-Year-Old

Rural Hall Elementary School

Talk about the right place at the right time.

North Carolina firefighter, Eric Stewart went to his son’s elementary school to eat lunch.  That’s when one of his son’s classmates, 9-year-old fourth grader Darrell Cates, started choking on a chicken nugget.

“I popped the chicken nugget in my mouth. The next thing I know, I couldn’t breathe,” Cates said. “I was like, ‘Lord, get someone over here. I don’t want to choke to death.”

A teacher ran to the firefighter to tell him what was happening.  Stewart jumped up and gave Cates three abdomen thrusts and the stuck chicken nugget popped out.

Stewart, says he was just doing what he’s trained to do.  “Thank goodness the Lord put me here that day for a reason,” Stewart said. The firefighter and young boy were reunited at the school on Wednesday.”Thank you very much for saving my life,” Cates told Stewart. “I didn’t want to die.”

Cates’ close call is a sober reminder that taking the time to familiarize yourself with the basics in first aid for children could help save your child’s life in an emergency.  Click here for a quick reminder on what to do if a child is choking.

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