Mr. Middleton Saves a Life

Mr. Middleton Helps a Student

Carolyn Conte ‘14
Staff Writer

Freshman Counselor Mr. Richard Middleton recently saved a life. At the end of lunch on November 18th, whilst cleaning up tables with some students, Mr. Middleton noticed the student across the table had a frantic look stricken across his face. “His eyes were huge, and he wasn’t giving the universal signal for choking (holding throat), but he was pointing to his throat.”

Greg Freeman ‘13, describing the event, said, “I was talking to a friend and had a bottle cap in my mouth, for no reason, and I guess I swallowed it.”

Mr. Middleton, who was across from Freeman, said, “I told a student to give him the Heimlich. He stood behind [Greg] but didn’t do anything. I guess maybe he didn’t know what I was talking about or didn’t know what to do… it was a moment of impulse. Adrenaline pumped and I don’t know how I managed to get to the other side so quickly. I started giving him the Heimlich.”

Freeman agreed. “I have no idea how [Mr. Middleton] got across the table so fast.”

Perhaps it’s because he was choking and a second felt like a year, but here’s where there’s disagreement. Mr. Middleton remembers that after performing the maneuver once, “the second time a bottle cap came out… It was so quick I didn’t notice what happened.” But Freeman remembered it was “like the fourth time it came out.”
Luckily for Freeman, Mr. Middleton was asked to sub lunch for another teacher who had to go out, and “I just happened to be there.” And a good thing, too! “I guess it was a Godsend.”

“So the Red Cross experience I was required to take really paid off. It was the first time I used that technique.”

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