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Fellow student is a real life-saver

Anyone who offers Emily Springer a piece of butterscotch candy shouldn't be surprised if she turns it down.

Springer, an eighth-grader at Cottage Grove Junior High School, had just put the remains of her lunch in the garbage.

It was Halloween and there was plenty of candy around the school. She asked a friend for a piece of butterscotch-flavored hard candy.

"We were laughing and it slipped down my throat and stuck there," Springer said.

"She was making weird noises," said Alex Anderson, also an eighth-grader and friend of Springer. "I thought she was choking so I ran around the table and put my arms around her from the back and did the Heimlich maneuver."

That dislodged the candy and Springer was able to spit it out.

Springer said she had tried to dislodge the candy herself by drinking some of her sports drink but it didn't help. "My eyes were watering," she said.

Another friend pounded on her back but it didn't help either.

Anderson was modest about his effort.

He had participated in a class on CPR as a student at St. Ambrose Catholic School in Woodbury.

"I saw a video about it. That's how I knew," Anderson said.

Springer had a substitute teacher last week who offered her a piece of butterscotch candy.

"I don't eat them anymore," she said.

A friend offered her a piece of butterscotch candy as a joke because he knew about the incident. That made Springer laugh, but this time she didn't have any candy in her mouth.

"I keep peppermint candy and other hard candy in my cheek until it melts a little," Springer said.

Judy Spooner can be reached at

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600