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Classmates save OMS student's life

OMS seventh-graders Dustin Warner (left) and Michael Nicgorski (center) saved classmate David Martin, who was choking during lunch last week. Photo by CJC. (click for larger version)
June 09, 2010 - An Oxford Middle School student who was choking last week was saved by two quick-thinking classmates.

Seventh-grader David Martin was enjoying his lunch Thursday, June 3 when all of a sudden a piece of food got lodged in his airway.

"I was trying to get people to realize I was choking," he said. "I couldn't breathe and I was starting to feel pretty light-headed."

Unable to speak, Martin pointed at his throat to alert others to his situation.

Fortunately, fellow seventh-graders Dustin Warner and Michael Nicgorski realized Martin was choking and immediately sprang into action.

Warner attempted to clear Martin's airway by hitting him on the back, then pushing on his abdomen.

It didn't work, so Nicgorski stepped in and began administering the Heimlich maneuver.

The piece of food was finally dislodged and Martin was okay.

What's amazing is that neither Warner nor Nicgorski has been formally trained in how to save a choking person.

"No one ever taught me how to do that stuff," Warner said. "I just learned myself."

Nicgorski said he'd seen it done in movies.

OMS Assistant Principal Dacia Beazley said Oxford paramedics were called "just to make sure everything was okay."

"He was fine," she said. "He went back to his lunch and then back to class."

Martin is extremely grateful to Warner and Nicgorski for saving his life.

"I think it's awesome they saved me," he said. "If it hadn't been for those two, who knows what would have happened."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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