Teaching Profession

Two Heroic Teachers Save Student’s Life After Freak Accident

By Alix Mammina — November 17, 2017 1 min read
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Thanks to two quick-thinking teachers, an 8-year-old student survived a freak accident earlier this month.

Third-grader Kolston Moradi accidentally impaled his arm on a pencil after school on Nov. 1, according to the Palm Beach County district. While waiting for his mother to pick him up, Kolston sat down on the floor of the school’s dismissal room—which drove a freshly sharpened pencil that was in the side pocket of his backpack directly into his arm.

The pencil had punctured his arm deep enough to hit an artery, according to the Dayton Daily News, and when Kolston pulled it out, he began bleeding profusely.

Kolston immediately turned to a nearby teacher, Mandi Kapopoulus, and showed her the injury. Kapopoulus used her shirtsleeve as a makeshift tourniquet for Kolston, while Elizabeth Richards, the school’s exceptional student education coordinator, grabbed a pair of gloves and started applying pressure to the wound.

Both teachers stayed with him until an ambulance arrived—minutes before Kolston’s mother, Annalisa Moradi, made it to the school.

“At first, I didn’t understand what happened, but as soon as I walked in, I felt like the situation was under control,” Moradi said, according to a press release from the school district.

While Kolston was released from the hospital with two staples in his arm, the paramedics who responded to the scene said the situation could have been much worse without the help of Kapopoulus and Richards.

“The EMT told me that if the teachers hadn’t acted as quickly as they had, my son would be dead,” Moradi said.

Given the number of accidents that can happen in the classroom each day, it’s no suprise that some teachers end up heroes. Teachers have made the news for donating their kidneys to students, saving students from choking on everything from water bottle caps to lollipops, and even intervening in attempted student suicides and school shootings.

Image (from left to right) of school principal Michele Johnson, Mandi Kapopoulos, and Elizabeth Richards, with Kolston Moradi. Courtesy of the Palm Beach school district

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.