Older Sister, Yamilet Contreras Saves Two Year Old Brother’s life


Anne Rutherford, Reporter

On October 11, 2019, Yamilet (Yami) Contreras (‘23) saved her brother’s life. Yami is a freshman and is currently taking classes at Belvidere North High School. Among them is her health class. Taught by Mrs. O’Donnell, students are provided with valuable insight on topics such as weight management and exercise, mental health issues and first aid, or safety. One such lesson was the Heimlich maneuver. 


It was a Friday afternoon, Yami was babysitting her two year old brother, Angel. She was cleaning the house and took a break to make Angel his milk bottle, with hopes that he would take a nap after. Angel was not ready for a nap yet so she let him watch a movie while she continued her work around the house. After all was done, she made her way back to the TV room, where her brother was supposedly watching his movie. He was not there. She heard the cries of a baby coming from the kitchen and ran to him. On the floor, she saw Angel gasping for breath and crying out for help. Yami ran over to him and saw that he was choking on the cap of the milk bottle. Panic quickly took over her, but she recalled the lessons from her health class. “The first lesson they teach you is to remain calm”, and she did. “I tried to scoop it out of his mouth but I couldn’t see it, so I performed the Heimlich maneuver I learned from Mrs. O’Donnell.” Yami’s older brother was in the next room. She tried calling him but to no avail. It was up to her to save Angel. She inspected his throat again and saw that the cap appear. Yami continued with the heimlich until finally, Angel spit it out.  


Though the time of danger was passed, she was still very concerned about her brother. “His skin was so pale and I was worried that he was in shock.” She never left her brothers side for the rest of the day. Yami was able to utilize a very important lesson, and managed to save a life because of it. “I think that the health class is very useful and can be used in everyday life.” Other students should look to Yami Contreras as an example of courage and composure. Yami saved her brother’s life, and with the valuable technique she learned, she’ll be able to save a lot more.