7-Year-Old Girl Put On Life Support After Choking On Her Lunch Dies
A 7-year-old girl who was placed on life support after choking on her school lunch last week in Brooklyn died Friday, according to her family’s attorney.
Noelia-Lisa Echavarria choked on Oct. 21. She was placed on life support, but eventually declared brain dead. Friday, Attorney David Perecman told PIX 11 she had died.
“I’m troubled about the amount of time, it took to call 911,” Perecman said of the ordeal.
The girl’s family said she was originally discovered choking by school staffers, but no one gave her CPR or the Heimlich maneuver. Instead, faculty called 911 and her mom, who in turn called the girl’s uncle, Alex Santiago, who was at home just a few blocks away.
When Santiago arrived, he said Noelia-Lisa was lying on a floor in the hall, lifeless and covered in blood, surrounded by confused staffers, the New York Daily News reported.
Meanwhile, EMT Qwasie Reid, 25, happened to be driving a private ambulance and was stopped at a red light near the school when a teacher and school safety agent ran out crying for help, he told a local ABC affiliate.
Reid was able to leave the ambulance, he said, because he was accompanied by another EMT and an aide to transport their stable patient to an assisted living facility.
Reid told reporters that he ran into the school and immediately cleared out Noelia-Lisa’s mouth and put an oxygen mask on her, used a defibrillator, and started CPR.
“She was unresponsive. Her face was blue. Nobody was doing anything,” Reid told the New York Daily News. “She was definitely choking. I cleared the airway.”
About four minutes later, New York City firefighters arrived and took the girl to a nearby hospital.
Noelia-Lisa’s family say they believe Reid’s help was imperative, but the EMT said his employers at Assist Ambulance were not pleased that he got involved and have suspended him indefinitely.
Reid, a father of four, said he is already looking for new work.
City Department of Education regulations state that school health staff must have CPR training, but are not required to be in the cafeteria.
And in a statement, the department said that it believed the principal and faculty “responded swiftly to the emergency.”
BuzzFeed News reached out to P.S. 250 Principal Nora Barnes for additional information.
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