Cheerleader saves choking toddler during homecoming parade

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ROCKWALL, Texas (CNN Newsource) — A homecoming parade in Texas turned into a life-saving celebration for one mother.

When her child began to choke — a quick-thinking cheerleader sprang into action and administered first aid.

On the cheer squad, senior Tyra Winters knows how to command the room.

But during the Rockwall homecoming parade, it was Tyra who gave her full attention to a family in the crowd.

“I see the kid, I see a little bright red face, and his mom is holding him up begging for help, screaming asking ‘someone help me, someone help me,’” she said.

From the parade float, she zeroed in.

“My very, very first thought was like Oh my god, I got to help this child.”

That child, 2-year-old Clarke choking on a piece of candy.

Nicole Hornback, Clarke’s mother, said, “I was sitting right next to him and I just happened to look over and there was no noise. There was no coughing, there was no breathing.”

Hornback says she tried in vain to help him.

“And at that moment, that’s when I tried to give him the Heimlich and I’ve never taken a class. To feel so useless as a mother was the most terrifying thing in my life,” Hornback said.

But from atop the float, Tyra saw it all.

“Her kid is turning purple. So, I immediately jumped off the float, I ran down to the kiddo, and I was like ‘I got it’ and I just grabbed him from the mom. I titled him upside down, and I just hit a good three back thrusts,” she said.

And just like that, little Clarke was breathing again.

“She saved my baby,” Hornback said.

Tyra learned the life-saving skills in 8th grade. Her mom is in the medical field.

“She taught me back thrusts, which works better on little ones, around 20, 30, 40 pounds,” she said.

Hornback says she plans to get CPR training for everyone in her family.

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