Nine-year-old saves life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nine-year-old saves life

August 26, 2004

Ashburn-- Here is a story that shows you that heroes come in all shapes and sizes even a nine-year-old little girl from Turner County Elementary.

Clara Grace Coker and her new best friend Jessi Rice both enjoy watching their favorite shows after school.

But it would be in the cafeteria that little Clara Grace would find out that it would be the Heimlich maneuver that she saw on TV that would help her save her best friend's life.

It all started when the girls were eating lunch. "I was talking to my friends and all of a sudden when I ate the pineapple it got stuck and I started coughing," says Rice.

Jessi wasn't just coughing, the pineapple stuck in her throat had cut off her air supply, her face was quickly turning red. That's when a quick thinking Clara Grace sprung into action.

"When she stopped coughing I jumped up did her like this and started to do her up and started to do the Heimlich maneuver on her," says Coker.

The girls' teacher who rushed over to help the girls says it all happened so fast.

"It was amazing, it was Clara Grace doing the Heimlich. She just grabbed her off the stool and the pineapple just came right out," says teacher Kristy Stone.

Jessi was brought to the school nurse and checked out fine. Clara Grace says she's not sure which show she pick up the Heimlich.

" I don't know it may have been ER," says Coker.

But regardless of that Jessi is grateful her friend watches a lot of TV.

"She is my very, very best friend," says Rice. A friendship that shows that anyone can be a hero.

Clara Grace got a special "Hero of the Year" award from her school and other treats for her heroic deed.

Health experts say even very young children can be taught how to help save a life.

They say parents can teach children as young as seven how to perform the Heimlich maneuver and other life saving techniques.

If you're not sure how to teach first aid to your child, experts say you should easily be able to find hundreds of teaching tools at the local library.

posted at 6:52PM by scott.hunter@walb.com