Boys hailed as heroes after saving fellow learner from choking

Durban Preparatory High School (DPHS) learners, James Kitto, Mitchel Garreau and Reece Truter were hailed as heroes after saving Riley Mallet's (orange shirt) life last week. Mallet was choking on two sweets and was helped by his fellow learners who all used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the sweets.
Durban Preparatory High School (DPHS) learners, James Kitto, Mitchel Garreau and Reece Truter were hailed as heroes after saving Riley Mallet's (orange shirt) life last week. Mallet was choking on two sweets and was helped by his fellow learners who all used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the sweets.

THREE local boys are being hailed as heroes after their quick-thinking helped save a schoolboy from choking. The Durban Prep High School learners, James Kitto, Reece Truter and Mitchel Garreau were enjoying their lunch break when a fellow learner, Riley Mallet, began choking on two Super C sweets.

The trio, who have backgrounds in lifesaving and are part of the Umhlanga Rox and Durban Surf Lifesaving Clubs, sprung into action by carrying out the Heimlich maneuvre to help dislodge, one of the sweets that was blocking Mallet’s airway.

“We were at lunch break and there was a group of boys playing cricket. One of the batsmen hit the tennis ball where Riley was seated and he was hit in the throat and he fell backwards. I ran to where he was and asked if he was okay, he kept shaking his head and his eyes were going red so I knew I needed to help him. So I tried the Heimlich maneuver,” Garreau explained.

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He was then helped by Truter who also rushed to help his fellow learner.

“We managed to stand Riley up and I then tried the Heimlich maneuvre because it was something my dad had taught me. I tried a few times before asking James, who was stronger to try and perform the move,” Truter said.

“I was quite scared because I knew what was at stake. Reece knew what to do and where to press so he coached me on how to apply the Heimlich. It was quite nerve-wracking but after a few attempts, we heard Riley gasp for air because his airway had cleared,” Kitto said.

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Mallet was able to spit out one of the sweets thanks to his fellow learners’ efforts and was assisted by the first-aid teacher at the school with the second sweet which had moved further down his trachea.

“I knew once the ball hit me in the throat that I was in trouble, I thought to myself ‘this is going to pose a problem’. I’m so grateful to James, Reece and Mitchel because I would have freaked out even more had they not to come to my aid. They saved my life. After I spat out the first sweet, the first-aid teacher gave me some hot water which helped dislodge the second sweet,” Mallet said.

He added he would no longer be eating sweets at break time and would only eat them at home or while watching TV.

 

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  AUTHOR
Shiraz Habbib
Journalist

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