Boy honored for saving classmate from choking
Appeal Staff Writer
Zachary Andrews, 11, was eating lunch and joking around with friends when he noticed something was wrong with classmate Sierra Cartier, sitting nearby.
“She was laughing, then her face turned red, but I saw tears so I knew she was in trouble,” he said.
He got up from the bench, went over to Sierra, stood behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist, and pushed in and up until “she coughed (the stuck food) up.”
The fifth-grader at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School in Carson City was honored last week for his efforts last month. City supervisors gave him a certificate.
The Heimlich maneuver was something Zachary had only heard about from an adult neighbor recounting what happened when his own son was eating candy and tripped on a step.
He doesn’t recall ever seeing someone do the lifesaving technique, either on TV, in a movie or in person.
“He did a Heimlich (maneuver),” Zachary said of the neighbor. The candy “flew across the room.”
Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Charles said being able to give the boy recognition “was a real special honor.”
“We are so proud of him,” said Jennifer, his mother. “We didn’t expect anybody to do anything.”
She believes he was meant to be there for Sierra at that very moment.
“God had a plan – at St. Teresa they don’t have assigned seating,” Jennifer said.
She also said she has another reason to be proud of her son: he was nominated to attend a national leadership conference next month.
“It was nothing,” Zachary said. “I just jumped up and did it.”
While he was glad to help a friend, he’d prefer to focus on his favorite things: hunting and baseball, he said.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.
Secret Witness turns 40 this year – and it’s helped solve many of Northern Nevada’s most violent crimes
Secret Witness tips have played a pivotal role in solving some of the most violent crimes the greater Northern Nevada region has seen. To date, Secret Witness has paid out more than $300,000 in rewards to anonymous tipsters. Rewards range from $50 (graffiti/tagging) to $1,500 (armed robbery) to $2,500 (murder).