MIDWAY, Texas — Teachers are known for going above and beyond for their students, but Lindsey Pick of Midway ISD went far beyond the call of duty last week for a coworker when she saved the life of fellow teacher Paula Farmer.
Pick, a fourth grade teacher at South Bosque Elementary School, was eating with Farmer, a special education teacher, when Farmer suddenly found herself choking on her lunch.
“We were having lunch in the teacher’s lounge and celebrating Lindsey’s birthday. We were, of course, laughing and talking," Farmer said. "Perhaps I shouldn’t have been wolfing down my salad. I coughed just as I was taking a bite and started choking."
Pick almost immediately jumped to her friends rescue and performed a life-saving Heimlich maneuver.
"My fried wonton went flying," said Farmer, "Lindsey kept apologizing and asking if she did it right.”
South Bosque Elementary nurse Erin Dethrow reassured her saying, “if she is breathing, you did it right.”
“Lindsey was obviously scared for me and scared that she didn’t know what to do,” said Farmer. “That did not slow her down at all. She stood up, did what needed to be done and I am alive because of it. She is quite literally my hero.”
Pick has remained very humble about the award.
“I feel so incredibly blessed to have been at the right place at the right time and so thankful Paula is okay," she said. "I don’t believe I deserve the recognition because I feel like anyone in my shoes would have done the same thing, but I am truly grateful.”
In honor of her heroic actions, Midway ISD presented Pick with the Midway Extra Mile Hero Award at the MISD Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday Sept. 20. According to the district, the award is given to those who go above and beyond in service to their school community. Pick was nominated for the award by Farmer herself, who was also at the meeting when the award was presented to thank her colleague in person.
Farmer and her family are understandably very appreciative of Pick's quick actions.
"I'm just super grateful that Lindsey was able to do it even though she was scared," said Farmer. "She was the definition of brave in that, despite the fact that she was afraid, she still got up and did what she needed to do."
Pick and Farmer said that the experience has brought them closer together and that they will likely now share a connection for life. They both have also offered their thanks and appreciation for the support that they have received from everyone at South Bosque Elementary.
"I feel like we have a purpose here," said Pick, "and that was my purpose that day."