Mother credits vice principal for saving her daughter’s life

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH)– Jordyn Zealor is still shaken up after choking at school. She was eating lunch in the cafeteria with her friends when a chicken nugget was stuck in her throat.

1 Mother credits vice principal for saving her daughters life“I tried swallowing it but I tried drinking water. I tried drinking milk but it wouldn’t go down,” she said.

She said she couldn’t breathe.

“I grabbed onto my friend but Ms. Crooks was there and she came over to me,” Jordyn said.

Sara Crooks, Vice Principal at Prendergast School, was in the cafeteria and noticed commotion. She saw that Jordyn was in distress.

“She was trying to talk to me but she couldn’t talk. She was pointing to the chicken nugget,” Crooks said.

Crooks sprang into action. She calmly went behind Jordyn to give her Heimlich maneuver.

“She said I am going to put my arms around you and push underneath your chest and she pushed and it came back up.” Jordyn said.

Her mother Barb Zealor said the vice principal saved her daughter’s life. “She was very very scared. She said that as soon as they got it out she turned around and hugged Ms. Crooks really really tight.”


Zealor said, “We really truly are grateful and she stepped in with no hesitation whatsoever.”

It was Crooks’ first time saving a life.

“I’ve been a coach in the past and I’ve been through first aid and CPR training. So I never thought I’d have to use it but I’m so thankful that I was prepared,” she said.

Jordyn said Ms. Crooks is her hero.

“I appreciate her and if she wasn’t there then I don’t know who else would do it because my friends don’t know it and I don’t know it. I’m very thankful that she was there.”

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