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Boy Becomes Instant Hero

Nine-year-old saves fellow student from choking

Knowledge could be the difference between life and death. Drastic thought? Not in Mineola resident Nicholas Ramos’ case.

The 9-year-old Jackson Avenue School student used every bit of his knowledge when he saved fellow student Steven Jones from choking to death on Friday, Jan. 25. According to Steven’s mother Laurain, he took a bite of a carrot and shortly after, Steven’s lips turned blue and he couldn’t breath.

Jones, 9, immediately started grabbing at his throat, the universal choking sign, before Ramos sprang into action. As Jones struggled with the carrot, Ramos raced around the lunchroom table and began hitting Jones in his lower back, dislodging the carrot in the process.

Oddly enough, it was Ramos’ carrot Jones began choking on. Ramos, who’s not fond of vegetable, handed them over to Jones during lunch. After that, Ramos didn’t have time to think, only react.

“He choked so I banged him on the back,” said Ramos after school on Feb. 12. “He did the choking signal.”

Ramos, a junior Webelo Cub Scout in Pack 246, credited his training in emergency situations he received from the Pack and his den leader and mother…Linda Ramos.

Nicholas said this experience could prepare him for other challenges in life and noted Steve, his friend of three years, learned from the experience too.

Fourth-and fifth-graders usually study the Heimlich maneuver, something Ramos hasn’t learned yet, late in the year. According to Linda, easy-to-learn first aid techniques are taught appropriate to their age.

“I still think at his age, I don’t know if he realized what could have been if he didn’t do that,” she said. “It was a team effort. If Steven didn’t know what to do to indicate he was in distress, Nicholas wouldn’t have reacted.”

The busy school district parent was proud to hear of her son’s feat, but didn’t learn it from Nicholas. Laurain told her the next day. 

“He didn’t say anything about it,” said Linda. “Nicholas and Steven play hockey together. So they were playing on the weekend and Laurain walked over to me and she hugged me and said ‘I can’t thank you enough’ and I said ‘for what?’ That’s how I found out about it.”

Jones couldn’t have been more grateful for his friend’s awareness.

“I was kind of scared when the carrot got stuck, but when it came out I was relieved and I was proud of Nicholas for what he did,” Jones said.

The Jones did not rest on their laurels either when it comes first aid knowledge. Steve Sr., an emergency medical technician, and Laurain, a Girl Scout leader for Pack 1087, taught young Steven a few things, especially the choking sign. Safety talk in her household is par for the course.

 “General first-aid, call 911, it’s just common; talked about in the house, like the universal choke sign” she said. “Thank God in that situation Nicholas knew what  [the sign] meant. My son is alive because a brave, fast-thinking 9-year-old.”

Steve Sr. is a volunteer EMT in East Williston and previously worked for the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corp. He said he knows this situation all too well in his line of work.

“I’ve seen that before,” he said. “I know when the lips turn blue, that’s due to lack of oxygen. Something simple like [patting the back] can make all the difference.”


News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com