Teacher saves student’s life in front of 2nd grade classroom

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CAMBY, Ind. (April 28, 2016) -- A central Indiana teacher is credited with saving her student's life after the young girl started choking in her classroom.

Talking to her now, you wouldn't know Layla Garrett, 7, recently survived a near-death experience.

"I couldn't breathe or talk or anything," Garrett said.

That's because Garrett was choking on a piece of hard candy. She had received the candy as a reward for doing well in art class. When she brought it back to her classroom and ate it, she accidentally swallowed it.

Garrett did the first thing she could think to do: get the attention of her teacher, Kathy Teders.

"I ran over to her and grabbed her arm," Garrett said.

"She (was) holding her throat ... and she’s turning, she’s red at this point," Teders said.

Teders, who is a 21-year veteran teacher, sprung into action.

"I stated the obvious: 'Boys and girls, she’s choking,' and then I turned her around as quick as I (could), I Heimliched her twice, nothing," Teders said.

She was afraid Garrett would pass out, so she tried again.

"At this point she’s kind of flailing, I put my arms around her, I Heimlich her one more time and that piece of candy flies out about two feet. ... I have never been so excited about anything so much in my whole entire life when I saw that piece of candy fly out," Teders said.

A quick trip to the nurse and thirty minutes later, Garrett was right back in class. She's back to normal now, hardly fazed by it at all. Her mom, Heidi Booth, was not surprised.

"She’s a really easygoing kid, not a big complainer," Booth said.

She is thankful, though.

"(We're) so grateful for (Mrs. Teders). I don’t even know how to put it into words how grateful I am for her," Booth said.

Mrs. Teders even received an award from the Mooresville School District, with Layla by her side to accept it.

Since the whole thing happened in front of her other 2nd grade students, she said the moment has become a teachable one.

"We have talked about choking and about what we should do. ... (Layla) got my attention, she knew something was desperately wrong and so I really praise her for that, too," Teders said.

As for Garrett, she has a couple more weeks with her teacher before the school year is up. She told FOX59 that despite being unable to breathe, she was never scared, because she trusted her teacher.

"She’s our teacher and she would help us if we were hurt," Garrett said.