School employees save choking 12-year-old girl

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SHENANGO, Pa. - Two employees in the Shenango School District are being credited with saving a 12-year-old girl from choking last week in the school cafeteria.

Brian Cooper told Channel 11’s Gordon Loesch that he was alerted by several students that the girl, Kaelyn LaScola, was choking on a meatball sub.

“It was a big lump. It was just sitting there. No, (I couldn’t breathe). Not at all,” LaScola said. “I was scared. It was like life and death. I was really scared.”

Cooper, who teaches seventh grade, was working as a lunch monitor at the time.

“She was grabbing a hold of her throat. You could tell she was really struggling,” Cooper said.

He immediately told David Tyler, who is a security guard, and Tyler performed the Heimlich maneuver on LaScola.

“I gave her the Heimlich maneuver one time and appeared to dislodge most of the food,” Tyler said. “I asked her if she could breathe and she said she could.”

LaScola was taken to a hospital as a precaution, officials said, but she was back at school on Friday.

“I’m really grateful that they were there and knew how to do that,” LaScola said.