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Day-care worker's quick thinking saved 4-year-old's life

Updated: Monday, August 19 2013, 10:22 PM CDT
Reported by: Jesse Knutson

PALMYRA --  Elaine Small is being praised for saving the life of one of her 4-year-old students in Lebanon County.  

“Miss Elaine saved my life,,” 4-year-old Cole Laudermilch, the son of Palmyra Councilman Gary Laudermilch, said.

It all started at lunchtime when Cole was eating carrots. One of the carrots did not make its way past his windpipe, and he started to choke.

“I turned to look at him, he was looking red,” recalled Elaine Small, who has been a teacher at Gravel Hill Christian Day Care for 9 years.

“I pulled his chair back and applied two abdominal thrusts,” she added.

The carrot flew out of Cole’s mouth, and he was able to breathe again. 
“To save a 4-year-old, or any life, is a pretty amazing thing," Small said, adding that her instincts and first-aid training, which is given at the day care, took over.

When Cole’s parents heard about the incident, they couldn’t believe it had happened, and now they say they owe everything to the woman they call ‘Miss Elaine.’

“I can’t thank her enough,” Cole’s mother, Julie Laudermilch, said.

Cole’s father, Gary, is a Palmyra Borough Councilman, and along with the Mayor of Palmyra and the president of the Borough Council, presented to Miss Elaine a plaque of accomplishment for her quick action in saving Cole’s life.

“You never know when you’re going to come in contact with a situation like this,” Small said, who encourages everyone to learn first-aid.

You can learn first aid at local Red Cross locations. 
Day-care worker's quick thinking saved 4-year-old's life

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