Remember when having a sub basically meant it was going to be a free-for-all at school? Substitute teachers are used to having their butts handed to them on a daily basis.

But that wasn't the case in Northern Michigan last week.

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A substitute teacher was grateful to be in the right place at the right time, assigned to a fourth-grade class at Gaylord Intermediate School where Carter Byram is a student.

How did it happen?

Patricia Dovalina tells Up North Live that she was eating a breakfast bar before students had begun filtering into the classroom. A piece of the food then became stuck in her throat and she started to choke.

When Carter entered the classroom, he saw that Dovalina had begun to turn purple.

Without hesitation, the boy threw down his backpack and began to hit Dovalina on the back until the piece of food became dislodged. She then began to breathe again.

Dovalina expressed her appreciation for Byram's quick thinking and heroic act.

"I want to say thank you. I could never, ever explain my gratitude to you for the rest of my life,” Dovalina said. “You're my hero, I'm here today because of you, and I always want you to remember that.”

Byram remained humble when he told the TV station that he was happy to help his substitute teacher.

"It feels really inspiring that I did something like that, just as a fourth-grader, a 10-year-old that can do something like that," Byram said.

The boy noted that he knew what to do because he's witnessed his father choking in the past.


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