Cheerleader saves choking child during parade


ROCKWALL, Texas (KTVT/CNN) - A homecoming parade in Texas quickly became scary for a mother as her child started to choke on a piece of candy.

"I was sitting right next to him and I just happened to look over and there was no noise. There was no coughing. There was no breathing," said Nicole Hornback.

Tyra Winters, a high school senior and cheerleader, was on a parade float when she saw the desperate mom crying for help.

"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 got to help this child.'"

Hornback tried in vain to help her 2-year-old son.

"And at that moment, that's when I tried to give him the Heimlich, and I've never taken a class. To feel so useless as a mother was the most terrifying thing in my life," Hornback said.

That's when Winters sprung into action.

"Her kid is turning purple, so I immediately jumped off the float. I ran down to the kiddo, and I was like, 'I got it,' and I just grabbed him from the mom. I tilted him upside down, and I just hit a good three back thrusts," Winters said.

And just like that, little Clarke was breathing again.

"She saved my baby," Hornback said.

Winters learned the life-saving skills in eighth grade and her mom is in the medical field.

"She taught me back thrusts, which works better on little ones, around 20, 30, 40 pounds," Winters said.

Hornback forever will be grateful to Winters, who knew just what to do.

"I commend her for being a teenager and being trained," Hornback said. "You're amazing. You're going to do great things in life."

Hornback plans to get first aid training for everyone in her family.

The American Red Cross offers classes in first aid, including CPR and choking. You can find classes offered online and in-person near you on redcross.org.

Copyright 2019 KTVT via CNN. All rights reserved.