Robert Stonaker, a third-grader at East Orange Community Charter School, is very thankful for his teacher Mrs. JaNiece Jenkins.
Stonaker was trying to open a bottle and used his teeth which caused the cap to be lodged in his throat.
“I was trying to open the bottle with my hand and I couldn’t because the bottle cap was too tight, so I opened it with my mouth and I was squeezing it and it went down my throat,” remembered Stonaker, “I couldn’t breathe at all.”
In a panic, because he couldn’t breathe, the student ran to Jenkins for help.
“He ran over to me and he’s mouthing, but there’s no sound coming out and he’s pointing to his throat that, you know, he needs help. So I saw that he needed help. I acted on my training, and I performed the Heimlich maneuver. We got the cap out Robert was okay. And I was grateful.”
“I never ever thought that I was going to have to use my first aid training. I’m grateful for that training because you never know,” said Jenkins.
Stonaker’s mom, Indra, also thanked Jenkins. “You know, she saved a life. So I think she did a great job and we greatly appreciated it,” she said.
Jenkins hopes that her incident will encourage other people to get training because you never know when someone might need help.
“You know, this is a perfect example of not knowing, not knowing that you’re going to be that person to save a life. We’re always thinking that there’s somebody more responsible … there’s a nurse,” she said. “But there are also cases where there’s not anyone there. If I wasn’t certified, this could have gone a whole other way, and thank God that I was able to help him because I was certified. So yes. Get certified pay attention because you never know.”
Jenkins was recently honored and given the key to the city.