A Texas high school cheerleader did not think twice before rushing to rescue a choking 2-year-old boy.
During Rockwall High School’s homecoming parade in early September, Tyra Winters, 17, was sitting on a float and waving to the crowd when she saw a woman calling for help for her toddler, CBS affiliate KTVT reported.
Winters noticed the boy, identified as Clarke, choking on a piece of candy and “turning purple.”
“There was no coughing, there was no breathing,” Clarke’s mother, Nicole Hornback, told NBC affiliate KXAS. “He was just physically choking, just gagging, and just gasping for air.”
“I literally ran from bystander to bystander, just trying to pass him off to whoever would take him,” she added. “But I was so distraught, I couldn’t speak.”
That’s when Winters approached Clarke and took over the situation.
“I immediately jumped off the float, I ran down to the kiddo, and I was like, ‘I got him,’ and I grabbed him from the mom. I grabbed him and tilted him and I gave a good three back thrusts and he ended up spitting up,” Winters explained to KTVT.
While Winters was there to save the day, Hornback admitted she was taken aback by the whole situation.
“To feel so useless as a mother was the most terrifying thing in my life,” she told KXAS.
According to the news station, Winters hopes to be a pediatric surgeon in the future, and has been trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver because her mother runs a group home for foster children.
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Hornback shared that she never got the chance to give thanks to Winter, and instead posted a message on Facebook to share details of the heroic act.
After school administrators noticed the post, KXAS explained, they planned a meeting for Winters and the Hornbacks at the school on Tuesday.
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“I don’t really have any words,” Hornback said as Winters gave Clarke a high-five at their reunion. “The words that you would say to anyone who does something for you is ‘thank you.’ But that doesn’t seem good enough.”
Winters said that ultimately the best part of the situation was that Clark was saved.
“I know they’re calling me the town hero,” she told KXAS. “It’s super exciting to own that title. But, most importantly, I’m just glad the boy is okay.”