While attending a tennis match in Livingston on Sept. 16, Splendora ISD substitute teacher Therese “Tracy” Lakey jumped into action to save a student’s life. Lakey was at the tennis match watching her daughter Madison play, but walked to the restroom next to the gym with her other daughter Mackenzie.
When they entered the building, students ran up to them saying, “Please help our friend. She can’t breathe.”
Lakey ran to the student who was having trouble breathing. At first, she thought the student was having an asthma attack, but quickly determined the student was choking. Lakey asked another student to call 911 and began performing the Heimlich maneuver.
After several attempts, a piece of candy was dislodged from the student’s throat. The paramedics arrived and took the student to the hospital, but thanks to Lakey’s quick thinking and timely action, the student was fine.
The student is Calie Ray, a freshman at Livingston High School. She and her friends were in the building waiting for their dance class to begin. One friend asked her to try some really sour candy and Calie said yes. But when she popped the candy in her mouth, she sucked in her breath and the candy lodged in her throat. Calie said she could feel herself getting less and less breath and knew she was going to pass out, but thanks to Lakey she was able to breathe again.
To say that Calie and her parents are thankful is an understatement. Lakey and Calie’s mother spoke on the phone when Calie was in the hospital emergency room.
“She was really grateful,” said Mrs. Lakey. A former medical assistant Mrs. Lakey said, “I was scared, but thankful I was able to help.”
The two got to see each other again at the football game last Friday, when the opposing football teams met in Splendora.
“I am so thankful for Mrs. Lakey,” said Calie.
Splendora High School Tennis Coach Cindy Drake said, “I was made aware of the situation shortly after it happened and I notified the Livingston coaches. Mrs. Lakey went above and beyond to assist this student. I told her that she was this student’s guardian angel, who was in the right place at the right time.”