TUSCARAWAS TOWNSHIP., Ohio (WJW) – A third grade teacher is being credited with using her life-saving training to help a student who was choking, unable to breathe.
Nine-year-old Donte Drotar says he was enjoying a frozen treat along with his classmates on April 29 to celebrate all of the April birthdays.
When he took a breath, a large piece of the frozen treat became stuck in his throat.
“He came up and he did exactly what his parents told him to do. He put his hands around his neck and I could tell by his face, his face wasn’t quite the right color that we were used to seeing,” said his teacher Jenn Ellenberger.
Ellenberger says teachers are routinely updated in their training for the Heimlich maneuver and CPR, but in more than 30 years in classrooms, she had never had to use that training until now.
She credits Donte for staying incredibly composed.
“I didn’t even flinch,” said Drotar.”It’s really hard. It’s almost like when you are trying to express something, but you can’t speak.”
“I just think it was very surreal. It was very one of those moments that you think is not going to happen to you and I think Donte did exactly what he was supposed to do. I think I did everything I was supposed to do,” said Ellenberger.
She also credits Donte’s parents for teaching him exactly what he needed to do in that instant.
“I really think as soon as parents or adults can teach their children or their grandchildren or any child what to do, I think that’s really important because I don’t think they ever are too young,”