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9-year-old saves classmate's life by doing the Heimlich maneuver: 'I really want kids to learn this'

"I'm just happy that she's still alive."
Essence Collier
Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 18:29:28-05

RACINE, Wis. — A typical Tuesday at Fratt Elementary School in Racine became anything but for Essence Collier.

"I rushed over there as fast as I could to help her out," Collier said.

Her split-second decision saved her classmate's life. TMJ4's Ubah Ali asked Collier what she did.

"I just really did what I had to save her life," Collier stated. How did you save her life? asked TMJ4. "I put my hand like this then I pulled her as hard as I can."

Watch Ubah Ali's social media report:

9-year-old saves classmate's life by doing the Heimlich maneuver

Collier performed the Heimlich maneuver on a classmate who was choking on a Cheeto. It's a lifesaving move she says she saw online.

"I saw this one video and it said how to help someone when they're choking," Collier said.

She watched that video two years ago, and was still confident and sprung into action.

"Oh yeah, I remember how to do that," Collier said. "I just wanted to help her out."

Teacher Samantha Bradshaw was in the classroom at the time.

"I was very surprised to see a 4th grader react in that way," Bradshaw said.

Before she could even react, Collier had already helped the student.

"I called Essence a hero, but she said no I'm just a student," Bradshaw said. "I really didn't think much of it. I'm just happy that she's still alive," Collier added.

This young, humble and brave child has only one ask.

"I really want kids to learn this (how to do the Heimlich maneuver)," Collier said.

A simple request, that could save a life.

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