Texas cheerleader, 17, hailed a hero after she jumped off homecoming parade float to save choking toddler in crowd
Tyra Winters had been taught the Heimlich Maneuver by her mother a few years ago. This past month, it saved a young boy's life.
ROCKWALL, TEXAS: A Texas high school cheerleader is being hailed as a hero after she saved a choking toddler in the crowd of her homecoming parade by jumping off her float and administering the Heimlich maneuver to the child.
Tyra Winters, a 17-year-old student at the Rockwall High School, near Dallas, was on the school's float with her cheerleading squad and the football team on September 18 when she heard about a young boy choking in the crowd, according to ABC News.
When she scanned the crowd to look for him, she spotted a little boy, identified later as two-year-old Clarke, whose face was "super, super red," bordering on purple, indicating he may not have had much time left. Having been taught the Heimlich maneuver by her mother a few years ago, Winters realized she could save the toddler if she intervened, and jumped off the float to make her way towards him to perform the lifesaving measure.
"I picked him up and then I tilted him downwards and gave him two or three back thrusts," she revealed. "He then was spitting everything up."
The situation had been even more desperate than she had realized at the time. Clare's mother, Nicole Hornback, told ABC that she had tried the Heimlich maneuver herself on the toddler, but had been unsuccessful. "I just literally was holding him out and just running through the crowd trying to hand him off to anyone," she revealed.
Hornback praised Winters' quick thinking, calling her "very brave" for being willing enough and responsible enough to take a child's life in her hands.
The trio met up once again this past Tuesday, October 1, but the little boy could not remember who Winters was. "It’s hard for him because he’s so young," Hornback said. "He doesn’t even remember what he ate for breakfast."
Nonetheless, Winters insisted she had a good time with Clarke, and shared that they even high-fived each other.