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Quick-thinking school bus driver saves 8-year-old boy who was choking on candy

As Mayrelyn Lopez was heading back to her seat, she saw the eight-year-old was turning a little purple.

Quick-thinking school bus driver saves 8-year-old boy who was choking on candy
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Fox32 Chicago

It takes a kind-hearted soul to help anyone in need and Mayrelyn Lopez sure is that. Her empathy and quick thinking saved a child's life. Lopez, a Volusia County, Florida, bus driver, jumped in to help a third-grade boy, who was choking on a piece of candy while on the bus, reports Fox35 Orlando.

Image Source: Pexels | Matthis Volquardsen
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Matthis Volquardsen

Lopez shared that there was a disturbance in the back of the bus at their first afternoon stop. However, she said that it was completely unrelated to the choking incident and was quickly resolved. While heading back to her seat, she saw Levi Holder, who was turning a little purple. The child had eaten a piece of candy from a Christmas party earlier that day and it got stuck in his throat. "I say, 'Hey, what's going on?' Grab him and just do 'this' so fast," Lopez said as she demonstrated the Heimlich Maneuver. Her quick thinking helped the boy get the candy out of his throat. Then she took him to the front of the bus so that she could keep an eye on him. Reportedly, during the rest of the ride, he was doing fine. After which, he was handed over to his mother. "Thank God, I [stood] up at the right moment," she said. "I was scared." The child has completely recovered now.

Talking about Lopez, the eight-year-old said, "She was very nice. Thank you for saving my life. Also, his mother was grateful to Lopez for her willingness to help and her brilliant attentiveness. Responding to that, Lopez said, "I'd want somebody to help my kids if they are in that situation." She added it was her mother's instinct that kicked at that moment. A spokesperson from the Volusia Public Schools refused to share the surveillance video due to security and privacy concerns.


In another similar instance, Raquel Radford Baker, a school bus driver, did not shy away from helping a child who was choking on something. On that day, she was covering for one of her coworkers and driving the bus for the Dallas Independent School. The 7-year-old Preston accidentally swallowed a quarter and started choking on it. In the footage, he can be seen slowly walking up to Baker and tapping her back for help. "I was trying to tell her that I was choking on a quarter and it hurts very bad," Preston said. She quickly took him to a nearby bench and began administering the Heimlich maneuver. She kept telling the child to breathe. The only thought that she was having was to save the child. Soon, the coin dislodged and came out of his throat.

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"I asked him if he was OK and he said, 'Yes, I can breathe.' And I immediately just hugged him tight," the driver said. Then she spoke to the school nurse, who called up the child's mother and she came into the school in a panic mode and only relaxed when she saw him. Baker takes her work too seriously. "One thing I love about transporting students is that I am transporting future NFL players, NBA players, future doctors, nurses, attorneys, lawyers, law enforcement, etc. They are the most precious gift ever to me and I am grateful and feel privileged to transport such precious cargo," she said.

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