Teacher Mandi Kapopoulos noticed a trail of juice in the hallway Nov. 1 at Equestrian Trails Elementary in Florida and followed it. That's when she saw third-grader Kolston Moradi and realized it wasn't juice. “There were pools of blood at his feet and his whole shirt was covered in blood," Kapopoulos tells the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Moments earlier, Kolston had been stabbed in the arm by his own freshly sharpened pencil, which was poking out of his backpack. The pencil went about 6 inches deep near Kolston's armpit and jabbed an artery. Kolston tells WPTV he "didn't really feel anything." “He wasn’t screaming or crying or saying anything,” Kapopoulos tells the Sun Sentinel.
Kapopoulos says she wrapped her sleeve around Kolston's arm in a makeshift tourniquet and yelled for help. Elizabeth Richards, a fellow teacher who had spent two years in nursing school, elevated Kolston's arm and pressed on the wound. They stayed with the 8-year-old for the 20 minutes it took for emergency crews to get there. It's a good thing they did. “The EMT told me that if the teachers hadn’t acted as quickly as they had, my son would be dead,” Kolston's mom, Annalisa Moradi, tells the Palm Beach Post. "Without them, this story would have been different,” she adds to WPTV. Kolston got two staples in his arm at the hospital and returned to school the next day. His fellow students got a warning about keeping their pencils in their pencil cases. (Read more pencil stories.)