School nurse saves first-grader after choking on a peppermint.
April 1 started out as a normal school day, but almost turned into a nightmare for 7-year-old Mason Long. This Osage Beach Elementary first grader received a peppermint for scoring high on an assignment. What happened next on that fateful day was nothing short of 'scary' as described by Long himself.
"I accidently swallowed it," Long recalled. "I was holding my breath because I didn't want to throw up all over the place."
Long remembers being scared along with his classmates who were worried for his safety. He was rushed to the nurse's office immediately.
"At first I couldn't tell if he was choking," School Nurse Kim Saab said. "Somehow I figured out right away that he was choking. It was probably the expression on his face. He looked scared, very, very scared."
Saab's instincts kicked in and she immediately took action.
She did the heimlich one time before the peppermint came right out.
"It flew out and he started talking and breathing again. We were all happy," Saab recalled. "I've never been so happy to see a peppermint fly out of a kid's mouth."
"I was really happy that it came out," Long said.
Unfortunately for Long, this was not his first negative experience with a peppermint. He actually had choked on one before.
Moments like these, remind communities that school nurses serve an important role.
"It's a very rewarding job. It's a hard job, but the rewards outweigh the bad," Saab said.
For Saab, her day consists of much more than taking temperatures and handing out band-aids. Many students have major medical conditions that she monitors throughout the day.
"I think just working with the kids everyday reminds me of why I do what I do," she added.
Now one thing is clear, Long will be steering clear of peppermints for a while but knows that Nurse Saab is there for him whenever he needs her.