Riverside teacher performs heimlich maneuver on student

Riverside teacher performs heimlich maneuver on student
This is the image for the news article titled Riverside teacher performs heimlich maneuver on studentA typical day at Riverside Middle School turned out to be anything but when a student had a choking scare last week in Joseph Foss’s literacy class. Eighth grader Wyatt Murray managed to dodge a bullet, thanks to Foss’s quick reaction and training.

Okay, technically it was a pistachio nut. Regardless, his life was saved.

“I'm am very grateful that Mr. Foss did not hesitate and that he let his training take over,” says Riverside health clerk Kim Gardner. “I don't want to even think about how this situation could have gone without his fast actions.”

While Murray’s teachers and administrators know full well that a crisis was averted that day, Murray says he was not too rattled by what happened.

“I don’t think I feel like I have a new lease on life, but at the same time I kind of do,” says Murray. “It didn’t feel scary but I know it was. I think the worst part of all of it was how scratchy my throat felt after it happened.”

Foss has an entirely different take on the situation. For him, it was a moment where he had to act fast and step up to literally save one of his students. Having been teaching for roughly 22 years, this was the first time Foss had to use what he learned in CPR training.

“I was looking at Wyatt and his face was red,” says Foss. “I asked him if he was choking and he said yes, so I just turned him around and tried to do the heimlich as best as I knew how. The first try was a very ginger one, and then on the second one it came out.”

Following the choking incident, Murray’s mom Cherri recieved a message from Gardner that made it clear that Wyatt was okay. Cherri then asked Wyatt if he wanted to go home, and was surprised when he said he was ready to go back.

“It was almost like something so serious was all of a sudden almost kind of humorous, but it truly was serious in the moment,” says Cherri. “In fact, I know somebody that didn't make it a year ago from that.”

All laughing and humor aside, Cherri said the incident took her breathe away and brought tears to her eyes because she knew that it could’ve been fatal. “I don’t even know how to explain that emotion other than shock, scared and then relieved,” says Cherri.

“I’m just so lucky that his teacher had the quick instinct to do what he did,” says Cherri. “I’m so grateful for Mr. Foss and I wish he could get some kind of an award, like a purple heart. He saved a life, and I mean that wholeheartedly.”
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