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Third Grader Saves Best Friend With Heimlich Maneuver 1 Day After Learning It.

Have you ever had one of those moments where things fall exactly into place?

Two third graders from Northborough, Massachusetts, experienced just that last May. Shailyn Ryan and Keira Silvia were eating lunch at Marguerite E. Peaslee Elementary School when Keira began choking. Thankfully, her best friend was ready to save the day.


Keira had been snacking on a hot dog when a piece of it became lodged in her throat. She tried to clear her airway, but she couldn’t do it alone.

As soon as Shailyn noticed her friend was turning red, she rushed to give her the Heimlich. Thanks to her quick action, it wasn’t long before Keira coughed up the hot dog and was able to breathe again. While she was a little shaken, she was completely unharmed!


The most incredible part of this story is that Shailyn had known the Heimlich maneuver for less than 24 hours!

Only the night before, she attended a safety class that was offered by her community. The class familiarized her with the kinds of threats she might face at home and taught her how to respond to them if no adults were nearby.

Clearly, Shailyn was an excellent student! Both the girls’ parents were in awe of her quick thinking. Keira’s mom added that she is “so thankful there are no words.” After all, Shailyn’s knowledge saved her daughter’s life.


As for Keira, she said she’s glad to know she has a best friend she can really trust, both with her emotions and her safety. Great job, Shailyn!

Share this story with your friends to encourage them to train children to respond in crisis situations.

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