As a long-standing teaching assistant at a bustling primary school, you would think Sara Williams had seen it all.
But Mrs Williams, who has worked at Norbridge Academy in Worksop since 2009, got more than she bargained for when one of her young pupils began choking on a 50p during a lesson.
Thanks to her quick thinking, Joe Adams, age 8, survived the ordeal- and he couldn’t think of a better way to thank her than with a Guardian Rose.
Said Joe: “I was sat in a lesson and put the 50p in my mouth- I know it was a stupid thing to do now.”
“I accidentally swallowed the coin and I panicked. I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t know what was happening. It was horrible.” “Mrs Williams knew something was wrong and came running over. She hit me on the back and the coin came out after what seemed like a very long time.”
“She saved my life and I want to thank her for that. I wish I could do more,” he added.
Mrs Williams spoke of her relief when she managed to dislodge the coin.
She said: “At first, I thought Joe was suffering an asthma attack- but I quickly realised he was choking and it was serious. I was terrified.”
“I was slapping him on the back and, when it wasn’t working initially, I began to really worry. But suddenly a 50p came flying out of his mouth and across the classroom floor.”
“Of all the things I’ve dealt with during my time here, that was probably the scariest. I’m just glad he’s ok. It’s lovely to be presented with the rose.”
Joe’s grandmother, Becky Adams, thanked Mrs Williams for saving her grandson’s life.
She said: “We cannot thank her enough. Along with saving Joe, Mrs Williams gets involved with a lot of fundraising for Norbridge Academy and is much loved around the school. It shows what a credit she is.”