Jacksonville teacher's quick action saves choking 2nd-grader

Emily Kline, teacher at Sabal Palms Elementary, had to perform Heimlich maneuver

By Brittany Muller - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - "Heroes" is the theme at Sabal Palms Elementary for the school year, and that's what students and teachers are calling Emily Kline after she helped a child who was choking.

Kline, an art teacher, was standing in the hallway with another teacher while students were at lunch on Tuesday.

"All of a sudden, we see a kid running out of the cafeteria making a noise," Kline said. "I just realized he was choking."

Kline immediately jumped into action to help Abijah, who was a second-grader. Using the Heimlich maneuver, a water bottle cap that was lodged in the boy's throat shot out after three thrusts.

"He had never been that scared in his life, and you can tell and I had never been that scared in my life as well," Kline said.

Kline says Abijah was playing around with the water bottle in his mouth when the cap flew off and went down his throat.

"I was thankful that she saved my life," Abijah said.

The boy's father said he, too, was grateful for Kline's quick action, calling it the scariest moment of his life.

Kline is thankful Abijah is OK and hopes what happened was a good lesson well learned. 

"I am a teacher, a mom, a human," Kline said. "I would want someone to do that for my kids."

Abijah wrote the teacher a handwritten note to show his gratitude.

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