STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero is a seventh-grade social studies teacher from Struthers Middle School who recently saved a student’s life.
It started out like any other day for teacher Anton Kos, but during the school day, he switched up his routine when he had to speak to another teacher.
At the same time, seventh-grader Jackson West was coughing in class when he was given a cough drop and went to get a drink of water. On his way back up, the cough drop got stuck in his throat.
Luckily, Mr. Kos was turning the corner and saw Jackson in distress.
“He reached for his neck and he tried to show me he needed the Heimlich. So I went out and I helped him and went behind him and gave him about five thrusts and out came this cough drop,” Mr. Kos said.
Mr. Kos says he was just in the right place at the right time.
With prior experience in health care as a nurse assistant at St. E’s, Mr. Kos says the key was not to panic and to remain calm, which is exactly what Jackson needed in that situation.
Jackson says there were so many things going through his mind at that moment.
“Am I going to die? That was the main thing. I was just so worried and scared that I wouldn’t see any of my family again. I’m just so grateful that he was there,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s mom is also a teacher and says having complete faith in the person watching your child for more than eight hours a day is so important. She says Mr. Kos really looked out for her son that day.
“We’re very grateful. It really shows that you go above and beyond and it means a lot to know that your child is truly safe all day long and that you’re not just another student in his class. You’re someone, you care about him and you did everything you can to make sure that he’s still here with us today,” said Lyndsey West, Jackson’s mom.
Mr. Kos says he is just thankful he was there to help and is honored to be a Hometown Hero.
“I feel that I was doing my job. I’m not a person who needs all the recognition. I feel fulfilled that I was able to be there and do what he needed,” Mr. Kos said.