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‘I’m thankful to be at the right place at the right time’: Custodian, fifth grader save child’s life

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    MIDDLETOWN, OH (WLWT) — Whether brightening kids’ spirits or making them laugh, Kim Deaton seems to always be in the right place for students at Middletown’s Amanda Elementary School.

Deaton, who’s better known as Miss Kim, is the lead custodian at the school.

“These kids might be somebody else’s kids, but for eight hours a day, they’re mine, and it’s my job to protect them,” Deaton said.

Deaton saved a life Thursday with help from 11-year-old O’brianah Moon. The fifth-grader was sitting at the lunch table with her classmate, Cole.

“He took a bite of his cheese stick, and his face started turning red. He wasn’t answering my questions,” O’brianah said. “He started shaking a lot, and when he started shaking, I knew there was a problem.”

O’brianah stayed calm.

“I knew that Cole was going to be OK because he’s very brave. He’s a very brave kid,” she said.

At the same time, O’brianah yelled for Deaton who was across the room.

“I take off running, and I go over and by the time I get there, he’s very, very red, and he can’t move any air at that point, like there was nothing coming out. I said, ‘I love you but I’m sorry. I’m going to hurt you because you can’t talk back to me, and I picked him up and I gave him the Heimlich maneuver. After a couple of thrusts, we got one piece out,” Deaton said.

Cole still couldn’t talk.

“So, I did it again a couple more times, and we got all of it out, and he’s here today,” Deaton said. “It was scary, very scary, but to know that these kids all stepped up, a room full of kids all stepped up and did the right thing. One did exactly what I told her to do and get the nurse. The other kids quieted.”

O’brianah stayed by Cole’s side.

“I was sitting there making sure he was OK because I was very scared for him,” O’brianah said.

Deaton said she was trained as an EMT years ago and that training just kicked in.

On Friday, students and staff at Amanda Elementary thanked Miss Kim. One boy even gave her a Valentine that said, “You’re magical.”

“The outpouring of love has been so overwhelming. I cry a lot, but I’m thankful. I’m thankful to be at the right place at the right time,” Deaton said.

Aside from him having a little sore throat, Cole is doing fine. He spent Friday resting at home.

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