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Cheerleader Jumps Off Float, Saves Choking Toddler

2-year-old Clarke's face was 'super red,' then purple, teen hero Tyra Winters says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2019 1:25 PM CDT
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Stock photo.   (Getty Images/clsgraphics)

(Newser) – One minute Tyra Winters was celebrating homecoming at Rockwall High School. The next thing thing the Texas teen knew, she was being called a hero. Tyra, 17, was riding on a parade float Sept. 18 with her fellow cheerleaders and the school football team when she heard people saying that a child was choking below, per ABC News. Tyra looked out over the crowd and soon spotted the boy in question, a 2-year-old she later found out was named Clarke. Tyra leaped off the float, ran over to where Clarke was, and started doing the Heimlich maneuver, which her mother had taught her a few years back.

"I picked him up and then I tilted him downwards and gave him two or three back thrusts," Winters says, noting Clarke's face was first "super red," then purple. CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reports Clarke had been gagging on a piece of candy. Clarke's grateful mother had tried the Heimlich before Tyra bounded in from the sidelines, but it hadn't worked. "I just literally was holding him out and just running through the crowd trying to hand him off to anyone," Nicole Hornback says. "She saved my baby. I commend her for ... being trained." As for Clarke, he didn't remember Tyra when the three reunited this week. "He doesn't even remember what he ate for breakfast," his mom tells ABC. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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