Student and Teacher Vanquish Corn Dog Threat


Connor Eals was minding his own business, eating a corn dog, when everything went horribly wrong.

It was March 6, he was sitting in the lunchroom at Crown Hill Elementary, talking to some friends, when he was accidentally bumped in the back of the head by another student.

That’s all it took. A little surprised, the 9-year-old breathed in, and the bite of corn dog got caught in his throat.

With the help of a buddy, he turned around and grabbed teacher Matt Taran by the arm.

“Can you breathe?” Mr. Taran asked.

Connor shook his head no, then his face started turning purple.

Mr. Taran had been re-certified in CPR and other life-saving techniques as part of a teacher training day in October, and prepared to try abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver.

“This is probably going to hurt,” Mr. Taran said. He leaned the boy over, buried his fists in Connor’s stomach and started to push.

The other children were silent. They didn’t crowd around, they just sat quietly and watched.

After the third pump, nothing was happening. Mr. Taran asked that someone call 911. He kept at it, but with no results.

Meanwhile, Connor’s color darkened. Mr. Taran kept at it.

“It kind of took a little while,” Connor said Thursday.

Mr. Taran pushed a seventh time.

“It was a lot, and I was starting to get worried,” Mr. Taran said.

But the seventh thrust did it, dislodged the obstructing bite of corn dog.

But unlike on TV, it didn’t come out like a champagne cork.

“Kind of like puke,” Connor said.

Connor’s mom, Krystina Eals, got the call and left work early. She took Connor to see the doctor, who said although Connor was sore from the Heimlich maneuver, the bruise was in the right spot meaning the Heimlich as applied by Mr. Taran could not have been more accurate.

Mr. Taran figured the little fellow would be sore, and scared.

The teacher and student have known each other for some time.

“I couldn’t imagine him not being around,” Mr. Taran said, who said at the time he didn’t try to be a hero.

“I didn’t even think about it,” he said.

Mr. Taran, and Connor, were honored at the Bremerton School Board meeting Thursday and Mr. Taran has been nominated for a Red Cross Local Hero award.

“You both were at the right place at the right time,” said Crown Hill Principal Jill Carlson.

Corn Dogs: Delicious, But Deadly


4 thoughts on “Student and Teacher Vanquish Corn Dog Threat

  1. This reminds me of the movie “Field of Dreams,” when Burt Lancaster dislodges a hot dog out of Kevin Costner’s daughter’s throat by hitting her back. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now. As for Matt Taran? I believe he’s a hero . . . the kind the Foo Fighters sang about.

  2. Way to go Mr. Taran! Courage, honesty, bravery, selflessness, and the will to try are just a few of the overlooked qualities of a hero. I hope others follow your lead. 🙂

  3. As things are going wrong around me, this truly brightened my day.Thank you for the warm fuzzy and congratulations to Mr. Taran.

  4. Great work Mr. Taran. Nice to read about.

    Hope this doesn’t start a rabid anti-corndog movement though…:)

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