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The parents of a 7-year-old Brooklyn girl are blaming school staffers after their now brain-dead daughter choked on her public-school lunch.

New York Post reports:

Noelia Echavarria’s family continues to keep her on life support at NYU Langone Medical Center in hopes “she’ll make her way back,” family lawyer David Perecman said.

The first-grader choked on a sandwich last Wednesday at PS 250 in Williamsburg. Her parents suspect she may have tried to finish too quickly, as she had complained about being rushed by teachers in the past.

“They should have saved her life,” mom Ana Iris Santiagosaid through tears. The mother had to be hospitalized herself after she had multiple seizures from seeing her child hooked up to the ventilator.

A private EMT who happened to be driving past the site transporting a nursing-home patient was hailed down by a school worker and tried to help Noelia.

“She was already turning blue and that takes awhile,” said the medic, Qwasi Reid, who works for Assist Ambulance in Brooklyn.

Reid thinks that the young girl had been choking for at least five minutes before he got there — and added that no one in the building seemed to be helping her. “People were screaming, but no one was doing anything,” he said.

Reid said he was later suspended because it’s against company policy to make a stop without being called.

“It sucks that I’m getting penalized for trying to save someone’s life,” Reid said. “If they’re not getting paid for the job, they don’t give a crap about you. But she was a priority for me.”

Perecman, who is considering a lawsuit, said he’s “troubled” by the amount of time it took for the school to call 911, adding that he believes the first emergency call came from Reid, not the school.

“My concern is how the school responded. If he’s the first person who called 911, then the school did not,” he said. “They need to have an honest investigation, not a cover-your-back investigation.”

He also is upset by the lack of information provided by the school.

PS 250 Principal RoseAnn ­LaCioppa sent out a letter to parents reassuring them that the staff is trained to deal with emergencies.

“Let me also assure you that all procedures were followed that day,” she wrote.

“Providing a safe learning environment for our students and staff is very important to us.”

A Department of Education spokeswoman insisted that the “principal and faculty responded swiftly to the emergency.”

Assist Ambulance did not immediately comment.

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(Photo Source: NY Post)

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6 thoughts on “7-Year-Old Girl Is Brain Dead After Choking On School Lunch

  1. specialt757 on said:

    This is very sad. We’ve all seen the results from the “brain dead” diagnosis. I pray for this family’s strength.
    SN: I don’t have a problem with the EMT being suspended because he had another patient, (transporting a nursing-home patient ) in the ambulance at this time. While I think his actions were admirable & commendable, at the same time, I also think his first priority was to the patient in his bus. If the patient would have died as a result of his actions, the company would have been sued by his/her family, if it was my family member I would do the same. The school’s staff should have called 911 immediately and should not have had to flag down an ambulance, that’s disturbing.

  2. Ms Curly on said:

    I agree, this is sad. My grandson told me that they also have to rush to eat lunch. He prefers to bring his lunch so that he has time to eat it. This child should not have choked nearly to death. So many things to worry about now when you send your child to school.

  3. Timothy Green on said:

    I was under the impression that public school staff was required to have first responder training …. a child choking on food is one of them emergencies u can foresee happening

  4. So sad…….

    Maybe the public school cafeteria workers need to be trained in how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. It would no doubt prevent another situation like this.

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