Hudson Valley Custodian Saves Young Boy’s Life
For the second time in his life, a Hudson Valley custodian is being called a hero after he saved a second grade student’s life.
Recently, during the second grade lunch period at Horizons on the Hudson International Baccalaureate School in Newburgh a second grade student was enjoying his lunch with friends when he suddenly stopped speaking and appeared distressed.
“I saw food splattering to the floor and I saw his hand waving,” Tommy Boyd told Hudson Valley Post.
Boyd, a 64-year-old Newburgh man and head custodian at the school, says he saw the boy’s face changing colors. He quickly realized the child was choking and his life was in danger.
“The first thing I thought was to save this child’s life,” he said. “My natural instinct was to run over to help him, because I didn’t know what would happen to him. He needed help.”
Mr. Boyd is my friend. He helped me when I couldn’t breathe
Without hesitation, Boyd sprang into action and performed the Heimlich maneuver. A large piece of food immediately shot out of the boy’s mouth, and the child was able to breathe again.
After being examined in the health office and speaking with his mom on the phone, the boy finished his lunch and returned to class.
“Mr. Boyd is my friend,. He helped me when I couldn’t breathe,” the child said.
Boyd learned his life saving measures while serving in the Army. He believes that if didn’t have the necessary training and if he wasn’t at the perfect spot when the boy started to choke, the outcome would have been fatal.
“He didn’t have much time. If I didn’t know how to do it, I don’t think he would be here,” Boyd said.
The grandfather of 15 tells Hudson Valley Post his large family has grown thanks to his heroic act.
“I inherited another grandson by doing this,” Boyd said. “This little guy and his sister, they love themselves some Mr. Boyd! If I’m anywhere close by, they come up to me and give me a hug!”
This isn’t the first time Boyd was a hero to an elementary school student. In 2014, he saved a student from choking at Gardnertown School.
“It feels good, he said. "I saved two young people’s lives by being at the right place at the right time.”