Student saves friend’s life with fast action and classroom lesson
When Carle Place High School senior John Aydogan signed up for Dan Como’s medical emergencies class, he thought it would be a good resume booster. He had no idea one of the techniques he learned would help save the life of his friend, fellow senior, Dean Migliore.
The two were recently playing Playstation at Migliore’s house when Migliore went into the next room to get some crackers and eat a vitamin. But the vitamin got stuck in his throat and Migliore quickly began choking.
“I couldn’t breathe,” said Migliore. “I was gasping for air and then I couldn’t get air at all.”
He quickly got Aydogan’s attention and the two went into the living room where Aydogan began performing the Heimlich maneuver, a technique he learned last semester in Como’s class. Migliore described the event as terrifying and that he thought he was going to die.
“I thought about how I got into Cortland and that I wasn’t going to experience anything,” Migliore said. “I remembered everything that had happened in my life. I thought it was ending.”
Meanwhile, Aydogan was doing his best to do everything he had learned.
“I was really scared, I was just doing what I had learned in class,” Aydogan recalled, noting he had never done the Heimlich before.
After five thrusts, the vitamin was dislodged and Migliore was able to breathe again. Both students said the harrowing experience was life changing.
“I’m really grateful,” Migliore said. “That type of thing stays with you. I’m so thankful he was there for me. That means a lot.”
Aydogan said the first thing that came to mind once Migliore was OK was how thankful he was for Como’s teaching.
“It made me realize the importance of the classes I take and the knowledge I obtain at school,” Aydogan said. “I’m grateful for the teachers and everyone I’m surrounded by.”
Como said he was extremely proud of Aydogan’s quick thinking.
“I knew they would have the skill to do it, I never expected they would do it so quickly after they learned it,” he said. “I will certainly tell this story before I teach it. It gives you a new appreciation for learning a skill like that.”