Elizabeth Gunnison spends most of her days watching after the kindergarten students at Memorial Early Childhood Center in Middleborough, but on this particular day, she was more than just a supervisor and teacher. She was a hero to one student who began choking at lunch.

The Middleborough Public Schools Facebook page was beaming with admiration on Thursday for Mrs. Gunnison when they awarded her a certificate of recognition for her speedy action in performing the Heimlich maneuver on a child in distress.

The post explains that Mrs. Gunnison “was performing her duties and supervising during lunch time…she noticed a child who looked at her and appeared to be in some form of distress.”

Mrs. Gunnison reflected on how the student was unresponsive when she asked the student a few questions, so she immediately jumped into action. A cracker had become lodged in the student’s throat, and thanks to Mrs. Gunnison’s quick response, the cracker was dislodged in the knick of time.

“There’s certainly a reason why all staff are trained in this process by our highly qualified school nurses, but you never know how people will react when the time actually comes to put this training to use," Superintendent of Schools Brian Lynch said. Mrs. Gunnison proved that her training was put to good use in coming to the aid of this particular student.

We all hope to be the person that will spring into action in times of distress and Mrs. Gunnison proved in a big way that she is capable of being a hero.

Her recognition, accompanied by a beautiful bouquet of flowers, is so well-deserved. Let’s hope her heroism does not have to be put to the test too frequently.

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