If you ever thought being a bus driver isn’t a job for a superhero, you would be extremely incorrect. Not only do bus drivers get us where we need to be (relatively) on time, they also have the capability to save our lives. Last month Oklahoma school bus driver, Ginger Maxville, unexpectedly saved the life of a young boy. When six-year-old Cameron Jansson began to choke on a coin that he swallowed, Maxville secured the bus, got up from her seat, and sprang into action.
She noticed the young boy making strange noises and deliberately ignoring her requests for him to sit down. “I thought he was just teasing me and I thought he was just not following my instructions and not sitting down,” Maxville recalled. “His sister said, ‘I think he swallowed a coin.’” Immediately Maxville rushed back to little Cameron’s seat, lifted him the chair into the aisle, and performed the Heimlich maneuver.
A surveillance video clearly shows Cameron standing clutching his chest and forcefully gagging. Then Maxville is seen pulling the boy out of his seat and into the aisle administering the lifesaving technique. “He was just red and gasping for air,” Maxville said. “I made sure the bus was secure, went back and grabbed the student.” After a few minutes of performing the Heimlich maneuver Maxville successfully dislodged the coin from the boy’s throat, she actually saw the coin fly out of his mouth and roll on the ground. “I heard it hit the floor,” she recalled. “We got it!”
Once she realized Cameron was ok, Maxville embraced him and said, “Don’t do that again. You scared me to death, you hear me? Oh, I thank the Lord that you’re okay.” The Mannford Public Schools bus driver and special needs teachers’ assistant, talks about the event and her safety training. “I was just surprised that, you know, that this was happening. I thought, here, I’ve got to see if my training, if I was really paying attention when I had my training. And it paid off!” That was the first time in her 17-year career span that Maxville ever needed to administer the Heimlich on anyone. “It was God working through me but I’m just glad we got it done,” she said.
Later on Cameron Jansson asked Maxville if he could keep the coin for sentimental reasons. She agreed but only on the condition that he never swallow that or any other coin again. Robin Jansson, Cameron’s mother, is eternally grateful for Maxville’s efforts. “She just really is an angel in our eyes,” Jansson was quoted in saying. So the next time you get on the bus or send your children off to school, say thank you to your driver, you never know if they may be the lifesaving first respondent.