Plainfield East High School teacher saves co-worker from choking

Maureen Beadleston, a special education teaching assistant at Plainfield East High School, is alive thanks to quick thinking by Kristin Schmitt, PEHS special education teacher. Schmitt performed the Heimlich maneuver on Beadleston when she was choking at lunch on Monday, May 21, 2018.

Special education teacher Kristin Schmitt saved special education teaching assistant Maureen Beadleston's life on May 21.

Beadleston was eating lunch at her desk when a piece of food lodged in her throat. Schmitt was on the other side of the office. She heard coughing and banging on a desk. She ran toward the noise and found Beadleston choking.

After a few thrusts of the Heimlich maneuver, Beadleston started to breathe again, said PEHS registered nurses Rosalie Isherwood and Mary Beth Lindemann.

There was a chance that the nurses would have had to perform CPR on Beadleston if Schmitt had not intervened, Isherwood said. Beadleston, Isherwood and Lindemann praised Schmitt for her calm demeanor and lifesaving action.