Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Janitor saves second-grader with Heimlich maneuver

May 17, 2010

SEATTLE — Calvin Whelpley, a second-grader at Broad View Elementary, was eating his lunch when a piece of corn dog became lodged in his throat. Unable to breathe, he got the attention of a classmate, who sought help from custodian Ron Dunphy, according to the Whidbey News Times.

When Dunphy approached the student, he was standing but unable to respond. Dunphy asked him whether he was choking and the boy was able to motion "yes." He immediately tried the Heimlich maneuver, the article stated.

"I had never performed it before, especially on a little second-grader," Dunphy said.

The custodian said he has received a lot of praise for possibly saving Whelpley''s life. Last Monday, he was honored by Principal Joyce Swanson at the Oak Harbor school board meeting. The child''s mother, Cyndi, also came to the school to personally thank him, the article noted.

Dunphy said he doesn''t consider himself a hero; he was thinking more as a parent would in that situation.

"I treat all the kids just like they''re one of mine. I’m not just going to sit there and watch."

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