News / South Africa / Local News

Orrin Singh
2 minute read
3 Feb 2017
2:49 pm

Boy, 9, saves paramedic’s life

Orrin Singh

He delivered three hefty blows on Philani’s back, which managed to dislodge the litchi seed.

Best of buds - Philani Shamase was saved by nine-year-old Corné Kruger who helped him after he choked on a litchi seed - PHOTO: Orrin Singh.

The thought of a paramedic being saved by a child is somewhat improbable, but that’s exactly what happened in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, recently, Zululand Observer reports.

Nine-year-old Corné Kruger saved paramedic Philani Shamase’s life after he choked on a litchi seed, and according to young Corné, it all boiled down to his natural instinct.

“My grandfather gave me some litchis, and I went to see Philani, 23, in the control room. I offered him some litchis while he was distracted, talking on the phone,” said Corné.

“All of a sudden I saw him hold his throat, and I knew he was choking.”

Corné acted quickly and delivered three hefty blows on Philani’s back, which managed to dislodge the litchi seed.

Gleaming with confidence, Corné told the Zululand Observer that if circumstances were different he would have performed the Heimlich manoeuvre, promptly illustrating how he would have gone about it.

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“I would have done this, but he is bigger than me, so I could not get my arms around him.”

Amused by Corné’s reenactment, a relieved Philani said that he was distracted on the phone and was not paying attention to what he was doing.

“I ate one while I was in conversation on the phone, and I don’t really know what happened, but I ended up swallowing the seed and started choking.

“That’s when Corné stepped in and helped,” said Philani.

Corne’s mother, Corli Kruger said that when her son came into the house afterwards and told them what had happened, they brushed it off as banter.

“He ran inside and shouted at me that Philani was choking, and he saved his life.”

A flustered Philani then entered the house and confirmed Corne’s heroic effort.

– Caxton News Service

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