Sherman neighbor answers call for help - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Sherman neighbor answers call for help

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Kirah Jean was choking on a piece of hard candy when a neighbor saved the day. (KTEN) Kirah Jean was choking on a piece of hard candy when a neighbor saved the day. (KTEN)
Tara Deobere, right, performed the Heimlich maneuver on neighbor Kirah Jean. (KTEN) Tara Deobere, right, performed the Heimlich maneuver on neighbor Kirah Jean. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- A piece of Christmas candy almost cost one Sherman woman her life. Fortunately, she had a neighbor to count on, who she now calls her guardian angel.

It started out as any other Wednesday. Tara Deobere normally would have spent her day at work, but she was home recovering from surgery she had earlier in the week.

Kirah Jean was doing some cleaning in the apartment next door. The two knew each other in passing, but nothing more.

While she was tidying up, Jean, a preschool teacher in Denison, was enjoying some of the candy she received as a gift from a student. And in an instant, everything changed when she began to choke on the hard candy.

"I thought I was going to die," she said. 

At first, Jean tried not to panic, but when she glanced in the mirror and saw her face turning purple, she ran next door looking for help, frantically knocking on the front door, hoping the woman -- whose name she didn't even know -- would answer.

Deobere did. And luckily, she's trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation -- CPR.  Her instincts kicked in, and she quickly gave Jean the Heimlich maneuver.

"When you see somebody in distress like that, you just need to hop in," Deobere said.

Jean said if it weren't for new new friend, she might not be here today.

"There's no doubt, there is no doubt in my mind -- she saved my life," Jean said.

"I believe God is a part in this, definitely," Deobere added.

Both women are advocates for CPR training. And Jean adds that all her hard candy has now been tossed in the trash.

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