Schoolboy saves teacher’s life as she chokes in classroom

Alexander Melville with headteacher John Wood and Flt Lt Grahame Kirsopp. Picture: Michael Gillen
Alexander Melville with headteacher John Wood and Flt Lt Grahame Kirsopp. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A hero pupil saved his teacher’s life by performing the Heimlich manoeuvre as she choked on a plum in a classroom.

Fate was smiling on the Queensferry High School history teacher last Thursday afternoon when Alexander Melville went into a class to print off cue cards for an English presentation.

Shortly after entering Alexander, from Kirkliston, realised something was seriously wrong when he spotted the teacher choking and pointing to her throat. The 16-year-old, who is aiming to be a pilot, has been an Air Cadet with the 1756 (Broxburn) Squadron for the past three years and learned first aid on a course at an RAF cadet camp at Halton two years ago.

Alexander, a former under-12 British judo champ, said: “I didn’t immediately know she was in trouble when I went in, but then I realised something was very wrong.

“There was no help available and I knew it would’ve taken time to get some and that would have been worse. There was no air getting to her brain and she was passing out.

“I’ve spoken to relations who are in the medical profession and they said a couple of minutes later she would have died so I think it was fate that I went in when I did.

“The teacher told me afterwards she thought she was going to die. I didn’t really have time to think about it at the time, but afterwards it was quite scary. I’m glad I didn’t panic and stayed calm when I needed to.”

The school will now present Alexander with the head teacher’s special award at its annual prize-giving ceremony.

Head teacher John Wood said: “We do consider Alexander a hero. Most people might have panicked in that situation, but he showed skill and confidence in his abilities. It is remarkable.”