Pasadena ISD teacher's aide honored for saving choking 3rd grader's life

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A teacher's aide at an elementary school in Pasadena ISD was honored Thursday by the American Red Cross for her potentially lifesaving actions.

Back in November, Jhanet Diehl jumped into action when a third-grade student at Burnett Elementary School started choking during lunch.

"I was eating crackers and I was about to drink water and then I started choking," explained 8-year-old Orlando Salazar.

Thankfully, Diehl was up to date on her CPR training and knew just what to do.

"I put my hands over here and then I pushed it up. Then later on, he was coughing it out and that was good because that was a sign that he was getting to breathe a little bit. I took his arms and put it up so the airways could clear up. After that, I just made him drink a little water slowly and finally he stopped coughing, and I knew that he was OK," said Diehl.

Diehl, a bilingual teacher's aide who has been working at the school for 25 years, was presented with an American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action on Thursday.

Orlando's mom was there to show her appreciation.

"I was terrified when I heard, but thanks to her, my son is doing well," said Karina Vega Salazar.

The heroic actions were just part of a day's work for this dedicated teacher.

"To see the smile of the children after being scared and all of that, it's a relief for me," said Diehl.

Orlando said he is grateful for Diehl, calling her a hero.

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