Teen credited with saving choking toddler
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- Hailee Pitcher, of Worcester, was hailed a hero Thursday for using a lifesaving act she learned at her school.
The 15-year-old was with her little cousin when the toddler started choking. That's when the training she received at Notre Dame Academy kicked in, saving the little girl's life.
“To call myself a hero that feels like a lot, it feels like a big title,” said Pitcher.
On a Thanksgiving car trip to the Berkshires, Hailee noticed her 1-year-old cousin, Sadie, was choking on a cracker.
“Sadie was having a sip of her juice, and nothing, no sound, she was obviously struggling,” said Michelle Boulay, Sadie’s mother.
“I started the Heimlich maneuver and I thrusted the palm of my hand into her diaphragm. And I unbuckled her and patted her on the back,” said Pitcher.
In a matter of seconds, Pitcher’s CPR training kicked into high gear and she saved young Sadie's life.
“She coughed and then she smiled and laughed, like it was a huge joke, but it wasn't, it was scary,” said Pitcher.
Pitcher was trained in CPR at her high school, Notre Dame Academy in Worcester.
“We're very, very proud of Hailee, we're really honored that she was able to put these skills into practice,” said Nurse Rosanna Burke, Notre Dame Academy.
For all her efforts, Pitcher was awarded two citations Thursday; one from the American Red Cross and the second was a Lifesaver award from Worcester Fire Department.
“It was so fast, I tried to think of it as something I would do to anyone. Which I would,” said Pitcher.
Pitcher’s teacher said Pitcher completed her CPR training just a week before saving her cousin's life.