Custodian’s aid to choking student earns Red Cross award

From staff reports

The letter above his desk serves as a reminder.

Erik Young, head custodian at Hidden Creek Elementary School, kept the note written by first-grader Ricky Galvez, who unexpectedly swallowed a plum pit in November during lunch and began choking.

“He literally just bit off more than he could chew,” Young said. “He actually approached me, which is unusual for someone who is choking. I recognized that he was in distress.

“I did a couple of abdominal thrusts and out it came.”

Young, 32, will be honored Thursday as a Red Cross Real Heroes Award recipient. Young, who has worked for three years at Hidden Creek, said he was nominated by a PTA member.

He said all custodians in the district are required to have CPR and First Aid training, but this was the first time he has used it.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” Young said. “I think anyone who recognized someone needed help would’ve done it.”

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