Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teen Cheerleader Jumped Off Homecoming Float To Save a Choking 2-Year-Old Boy


A Texas high school cheerleader is being hailed as a hero for quick actions that saved the life of a choking toddler.

Senior Tyra Winters was participating in her high school’s homecoming parade last week when she heard someone from the crowd yelling for help.

The Rockwall High cheerleader jumped down from the float she was on and rushed to the aid of a choking 2-year-old boy.

The toddler’s mother, Nicole Hornback, told KTVT she looked over and saw her son was silently choking on a piece of candy. She tried to save him but didn’t know how to properly administer the Heimlich maneuver.

“I’ve never taken a class,” she said. “To feel so useless as a mother was the most terrifying thing in my life.”

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Winters said she heard the desperate mother’s cries for help and rushed from the float to the choking toddler.

“I see the kid. I see a little bright red face, and his mom is holding him up begging for help, screaming, asking, ‘Someone help me. Someone help me,’” Winters said. “My very, very first thought was like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve got to help this child.’”

The cheerleader said she learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver from her mother who is a healthcare provider and wanted Winters to learn the life-saving maneuver just in case she ever needed it.

“He was turning purple, so I immediately jumped off the float, I ran down to the kiddo, and I was like, ‘I got him’ and I grabbed him from the mom,” the teen said.

Do you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver?

“I grabbed him and tilted him and I gave a good three back thrusts and he ended up spitting up.”

Hornback is extremely grateful for the heroic teen’s actions. “She saved my baby,” Hornback said.

The mother even told KTVT that she and her family are planning to get certified soon so they can be better prepared in the future.

“I don’t really have any words,” Hornback told KDFW. “The words that seem that you would say to anyone is thank you. But those words don’t seem good enough. I think all I can be in this moment is thankful.”

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Winters, however, remains humble and is just glad that the little boy is okay.

“I’m really blessed that I could be there at the time because the story could have went 1,000 ways,” she said. “I’m just happy it went the way it did. I’m glad the kid came out okay.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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