Lenoir City teacher saves student's life

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 2:23 PM EDT
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A Loudon County teacher is being called a hero after she saved a child's life in the classroom.

Melinda Moroz has taught for 26 years, and she said she finally found her fit teaching first graders how to read. She now teaches at Eaton Elementary School.

"Once they learn how to read, the world is theirs," she said.

A few days ago, after all these years in the classroom, she had a scary first when a child started choking.

First grader Colby Arwood had a piece of candy lodged in his throat and couldn't get it out.

"I tried to catch it when it went in my throat, but it wouldn't go back," Colby said.

So Moroz jumped into action, performing the Heimlich maneuver over and over again.

"I did it the third time, but still nothing," she said. "But the fourth time was a charm. It flopped on the floor, with my heart."

She had saved his life, thanks to training she's learned from Priority Ambulance service. They give annual first aid classes to all Loudon County schools. It was the brainchild of Priority Ambulance supervisor Tony Lowery.

"It's our kids going to these schools, so we wanted to make sure when they're going to school they're safe," Lowery said.

The maneuver was something Moroz, as a veteran teacher, was glad to learn.

"I didn't think about it,' she said. "It was just second nature because of the training by Priority."

The Loudon County mayor also gave Moroz the lifesaving award for her heroic acts.