Cheerleader jumps off her homecoming parade float to save choking toddler in crowd

Cheerleader jumps off her homecoming parade float to save choking toddler in crowd

It's often said that not all heroes wear capes. Now, it turns out that they can rock pompoms too.

This was the case when 17-year-old Texas cheerleader Tyra Winters noticed a toddler choking from her homecoming float. She immediately jumped into action to save the child, whose mother had called for help.

Credit: DFW-CBSLocal

"At this point, he's kind of turning purple," Tyra said, recounting the incident.

"I picked him up and then I tilted him downwards and gave him two or three back thrusts. He then was spitting everything up."

After Tyra stepped in, the toddler was able to breathe again.

The child's mother, Nicole Hornback, said that she had tried the Heimlich maneuver on her two-year-old son Clarke, but it was to no avail.

The cheerleader who jumped off a float to save a toddler. Credit: DFW-CBSLocal

"I just literally was holding him out and just running through the crowd trying to hand him off to anyone," Hornback told CBS News.

"I was sitting right next to him. I just happened to look over. There was no noise, no coughing, no breathing."

Nicole praised the 17-year-old for having the bravery to take a child's life into her own hands.

A toddler whose life was saved by a cheerleader. Credit: DFW-CBSLocal

Tyra explained that she was confident in her ability to perform the Heimlich after her mother taught her the maneuver.

"I knew exactly what to do from that point on," Tyra said.

"She saved my baby," Nicole said. "I commend her for being a teenager and being trained."

A mom hugging the cheerleader who saved her son. Credit: DFW-CBSLocal

The two women were later reunited at Tyra's school, Rockwall High School, near Dallas, where the mother said that while her son is too young to understand what happened, she will never forget Tyra for saving his life.

What happened to Clarke was every parent's worse nightmare; he had choked on a piece of candy.

Healthline has issued the following guidelines for anyone who wants to know more about the Heimlich maneuver.