Young St. Paul hero honored
by RAY NOLTING
Oct 10, 2011 | 2991 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Neosho County Sheriff Jim Keath gave a Lifesaving Award to Brenden Doherty (center) Tuesday for saving his cousin, Grant Hutcherson, from choking in May.
Neosho County Sheriff Jim Keath gave a Lifesaving Award to Brenden Doherty (center) Tuesday for saving his cousin, Grant Hutcherson, from choking in May.
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ST. PAUL — May 19 was another day in the lunchroom for cousins Brenden Doherty and Grant Hutcherson.

It was corn dog day and the end of school was near.

The two were sitting at a table with a number of girls from St. Paul Elementary School.

Grant took a bite from his corn dog and began choking. Brenden quickly came to his cousin’s aid, even though he was scared.

Brenden said he was thinking: “Oh my gosh he’s choking.”

“I started hitting him in the back a lot of times. I couldn’t really get a good angle on his stomach,” Brenden said.

Brenden hasn’t been trained on the Heimlich maneuver, which is used to force bursts of air into the windpipe to dislodge foreign objects, but he knew enough about someone choking to offer help. Then Grant changed positions and exposed his abdomen. Brenden said he struck his cousin in the abdomen and the force of the blow pushed the food out; Grant could breathe again.

Grant’s mother, Jennifer Hutcherson, was working in the lunchroom at the time. She said her son was turning blue before the object was popped out.

“It was pretty bad,” she said.

Grant reported being sore after the incident, but that was it. He didn’t remember much else, other than he choked and his cousin came to his aid.

“They’re really close. They are like brothers,” Jennifer said of Grant and Brenden.

Brenden was honored Tuesday at St. Paul School for his heroics.

Neosho County Sheriff Jim Keath gave Brenden, now 11, a Lifesaving Award in front of a school assembly.

The event was a surprise to Brenden, who thought the assembly was for something else.

USD 505 Superintendent Mark LaTurner said the assembly was to honor a student who stepped up and acted when he was needed.

“Leadership is often marked by somebody stepping up when the situation demands it,” LaTurner said.

The superintendent hoped students could take home a lesson from the May 19 incident. When a situation demands attention, don’t fade into the background, but act, LaTurner said.

“Make that a part of who you are,” LaTurner said.

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