March 21, 2014

Citizen of the Week: Traci Warnix

When 8-year-old Zeke Turso began choking on a bit of taco during his lunch at Varnell Elementary School recently, those around him were quick to try to come to his rescue.

Students sitting across from Zeke called for help, a lunch monitor rushed over, and other adults sprang into action to find the school nurse, who was in another part of the building. Traci Warnix, a kindergarten paraprofessional with a background in the medical field, was among those who rushed to Zeke’s aid, and she’s the one grandmother Brenda Carden credits with saving the little boy’s life.

Carden and Principal Lisa Jones said Warnix came over and performed the Heimlich maneuver on Zeke, quickly dislodging the food from his airway.

“We’re just so appreciative to her for the knowledge and for stepping in to do it,” Carden said. “It was very traumatic.”

Carden said that while the experience was scary, Zeke is now doing just fine.

Jones said she was glad to see Warnix jump in so quickly.

“She saw somebody in need, she ran, and she immediately started providing that assistance,” Jones said. “It was a situation where Traci was a godsend.”

Jones said there have been other times at the school when Warnix, who is part of the school’s emergency response team, has helped out, such as when a student has had an asthma attack or a suspected broken bone.

“Traci is one of those people who has a smile on her face all the time,” Jones said. “She loves our babies, she loves the kindergarten children in her room, but she loves (all) these kids K through 5. She’s one of these people who is always willing to help, and you don’t have to call and ask.”

For her quick thinking and prompt reaction in Zeke’s time of need, The Daily Citizen names Traci Warnix Citizen of the Week.

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