A Godley Middle School seventh-grader put what he learned during science class into practice when he saved his grandmother from choking recently.
Nathan Lamon, 12, was recognized by his school on Friday during a pep rally. Godley Fire Chief James Woolard and Godley police officer Matthew Cantrell also presented Nathan with a plaque.
Nathan was eating a meal with his grandma, Sharon Jones, when a piece of a pork chop became stuck at the bottom of her throat. His grandma could still talk and breathe, but not very well, he said.
“I got my grandfather up,” he said. “He said that he was an EMT. He was told that if they are able to breathe and talk to leave them alone because it just might come up by itself. But after that, it kept getting worse and worse.
“So I gave her a piece of watered-down bread, a small little piece. She couldn’t eat that, so I knew something bad was really happening.”
He attempted to do the Heimlich maneuver once, but nothing happened. By the third time, the piece of food came free.
“So then I knew, it’s either I do something and she could be saved or I do nothing and she could die,” he said. “So that’s what helped me overcome my fear.”
Jones said she was panicking a little bit but had faith in her grandson to help her.
“I really didn’t know if he could do it, but he just aced it,” she said. “He’s an awesome kid. He always jumps in to do whatever needs to be done.”
She praised the school district for teaching these skills to their students and for recognizing her grandson.
Nathan was taught about the Heimlich maneuver and other life-saving skills by GMS science teacher Kristin Armstrong and the school’s nurse, Samantha Gallagher.
“I tell the kids, we never know when something’s going to happen, but my job is to help them so when something does happen hopefully they know what to do,” Gallagher said.
They also taught their students CPR chest compressions and Stop the Bleed, she said. The lesson plan was in correlation with the students learning the human body systems, like the circulatory and respiratory systems.
“I think this is why we taught it to prepare them,” she said. “They’re at that age where they’re getting more to where they spend less time around adults and they have to be responsible for themselves in all ways. He’s phenomenal in every way.”
Nathan’s mom, Tryphaena Halverson, said she wasn’t there when the incident occurred, but was proud of him and how quickly he reacted.
“I was super excited and teary-eyed, of course,” Halverson said. “He’s just a good kid.”
GHS Principal Leigh Brown said their teachers do an amazing job in the classroom every day.
“I can’t say how proud I am to be a part of this campus and be a Wildcat,” Brown said during the pep rally. “I know as students sometimes you say, when am I ever going to use what I learn in the class?’
“No one can predict our future. Only we are in charge of what happens in our lives. So the best thing that we can do is to take every day, take what our teachers are teaching you and take that to heart because you never know when you’re going to be able to use what they teach you.”
She said that Nathan was able to save his grandma’s life due to what he learned in his class.
“Nathan is a true hero, and he is without a doubt an amazing leader for our campus,” she said.