The quick thinking of Ponoka Elementary School teacher Amanda Graystone helped save the life of 5-year-old Kindergarten student Alyssa Jeffrey. She was choking on her lunch and was unable to breath until Graystone stepped in to help her. Photos submitted

Quick thinking Ponoka teacher saves choking student

Christmas will be complete for a Ponoka family after Ponoka Elementary School teacher saves student

The quick thinking of a Ponoka Elementary School teacher helped save the life of a choking student.

It was a regular lunch break for Kindergarten students Dec. 17 that quickly turned dangerous when 5-year-old Alyssa Jeffrey started to choke. Teacher Amanda Graystone was with the students when she saw Alyssa stand up holding her throat.

The teacher knew something was very wrong. “My first thought was, ‘What do I do?’”

It was a matter of seconds and she went into life-saving mode.

Graystone quickly went up to Alyssa and first patted her back to try and dislodge the stuck food. When that didn’t work she used her CPR training and attempted the Heimlich Maneuver.

It was at this point that Alyssa’s face was turning red. Graystone called to another teacher to get some help. Alyssa was starting to panic.

Graystone saw that the Heimlich wasn’t working and because Alyssa is so young she didn’t want to push too hard. So she used the next step in her training when dealing with infants who are choking by using a finger sweep in her throat.

“I looked at her and told her, ‘This is going to hurt,’” said Graystone.

That sweep located the stuck food and Graystone was able to dislodge it and pull it out. Alyssa was able to breath again. “I did everything I could to make her breath.”

What seemed like an eternity to her was probably around one to two minutes, she explained. “It was a blur.”

“It was a very stressful event,” she added.

Graystone, who also has an 18-month old baby, has taken this type of training but never actually had to use it. Her adrenaline was high for some time after.

“I still think about it. It’s still with me,” said Graystone of the experience.

Alyssa’s parents, Amanda and Kyle, are grateful that Graystone was there to help. Amanda said they were called by staff about what occurred and while on the way to the school they prayed for Alyssa’s well being.

Kyle is a former volunteer firefighter and Amanda said he went into emergency response mode. He spoke with Graystone about what happened to get an idea of the events.

Amanda was grateful to see her daughter. “I went forehead to forehead with her and I told her everything was okay,” she said.

The parents praised Graystone for doing everything she could. “She did all of her training and she went into mama mode as well,” Amanda added.

“She saved our daughter’s life just before Christmas.”

Amanda praised school administration for working with Graystone and the family to ensure everyone was taken care of. After the event Alyssa’s parents took her to the hospital to ensure she was healthy and well. Other than a little bit of a sore throat, Amanda said she was fine.

When Alyssa returned to school on Wednesday she was all smiles. “She hugged me right away when she saw me,” said Graystone.



jeff.heyden-kaye@ponokanews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Road allowance closure goes to prov govt

Encroaching house situation could set ‘precedent’

County of Wetaskiwin council approves water rate hike of 3 per cent

Councilors balk at proposed rate increase of 4 per cent

Trudeau hypocrite on Iran plane crash

Writer says P.M. not that concerned about China hostages

Leaders of Tomorrow kicks off Jan. 16

Nominations accepted for youth recognition until Feb. 22

Team improves access to addiction, mental health supports

Service provides expanded on-call consultation

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal motor vehicle collision

Collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 11 and Burnt Lake Trail

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Alberta privacy watchdog investigates ID scans at liquor stores

Alcanna Ltd., based in Edmonton, runs Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis stores

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Most Read