Stimson Paraprofessional Saves Seventh Grader
For Stimson seventh grader Joet Cooper, the prospect of dying became frighteningly real recently, but instead of the cliché about her life passing in front of her, she was thinking about all the things she hadn’t done yet. “I was thinking I was too young to die,” said Joet. “I hadn’t even gotten to high school or gone to college yet.”
Joet was finishing up her lunch and laughing with her friends when a chip suddenly became lodged in her throat and she panicked. She attempted to drink some water, making things even worse. “Even the water got stuck and I began to lose consciousness,” Joet added. It was then that one of the teachers in the lunch room saw what was happening and immediately called out to paraprofessional Ms. Domenica Zaharios.
“I had a similar experience when I was 10 years old, and my mom saved my life by performing the Heimlich maneuver on me, so I knew immediately what to do,” said Ms. Zaharios. “Call it mother’s instinct or all those posters you see showing the few steps needed to help someone who’s choking.” With her nerves in check, Ms. Zaharios dislodged the French onion culprit. Now a very grateful Joet gets to look forward to a life filled with all the things she hopes to accomplish. “Everyone should know how to do the Heimlich,” said Ms.Zaharios, “it’s easy, and you never know who’s life you may end up saving.”
“Ms. Zaharios’s quick thinking as she performed the Heimlich maneuver on Joet is a clear demonstration of the caring our staff provides to our youngsters on a daily basis,” said Stimson Principal Ms. Faye Robins. “Ms. Zaharios acted with only the thought of helping a child in need and was pleasantly surprised when we referred to her as a hero in our school!”
Stimson seventh grader Joet Cooper is all smiles with Ms. Domenica Zaharios below Photo by Steve Bartholomew.
Joet Cooper & Domenica Zaharios