Villa Grove teacher saves choking sixth-grader with Heimlich

Villa Grove teacher saves choking sixth-grader with Heimlich

VILLA GROVE — When a sixth-grader started choking Friday during lunch, first-year teacher Ryan Brown knew what to do.

"I'm an Eagle Scout, so I've had that training drilled into me throughout my life," said Brown, who teaches junior high and high school English at Villa Grove.

Brown was on sixth-grade lunch duty when he used his training for the first time in a real-life situation.

"One of the students came up to me, and alerted me that she was in some distress," Brown said. "We got her over to a trash can, to see if we could get her to spit it out."

She couldn't, so Brown started performing the Heimlich maneuver.

"It popped out on the first try, and she was able to start breathing again," Brown said. "It was pretty easy."

Afterward, the student was fine and other staff came over and brought her water.

Because of his training, Brown said he wasn't scared.

"It was intense, but luckily, I've been trained," he said.

High school English teacher Joe Stokowski praised Brown for his heroics.

"He's a really good guy," Stokowski said. "And saving students' lives is pretty good for the job security."

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (2):Education, People

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CharacterCounts wrote on January 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Thank you for responding to the student who was having the medical problem.  Your experience and training as a Boy Scout certainly saved this student’s life.  Earning the rank of Eagle speaks highly of you.  So few young people achieve the honor of being an Eagle.  Only a small number of scouts earn the Eagle rank.  If more parents supported & encouraged their children to be scouts we would have a better community & country.  Once an Eagle Scout always an Eagle Scout.

I doubt if many of those booked into the county jail have been a Scout.  There are exceptions.

 The opportunity to become a Eagle Scout is now available to girls.  I look forward to seeing a picture the first female Eagle Scout from our community.