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Boy's swift action saves sister

Brandon Warren quickly delivers the Heimlich maneuver, popping out a coin that got accidentally stuck in his younger sister's throat.

Published June 11, 2005

[Times photo: Carrie Pratt]
Seven-year-old Brianna Dolan, right, swallowed a quarter while she was getting dressed June 3. And as Brianna was trying to signal that she was choking, her mother, Nikki Dolan tripped and hurt her knee while running to help her. Brianna's brother, Brandon Warren, 10, ended up using his knowledge of the Heimlich maneuver to save her life.

LARGO - Brianna Dolan, 7, wanted to keep a quarter away from her 4-year-old brother. So she stuck the coin in her teeth before she finished getting dressed.

Brianna was slipping her dress over her head when the quarter lodged in her throat.

Unable to breathe, she ran toward her mother, who was outside talking to a neighbor.

"Her face was turning red and she had her hands around her neck making the choking sign," said Nikki Dolan, 30.

Mrs. Dolan turned to run - and tripped over a metal rail used by her children for skateboarding tricks. She fell, fracturing her knee.

"She's choking!" Mrs. Dolan screamed. "Somebody help her!"

That's where Brianna's brother, Brandon Warren, stepped in.

Brandon, 10, stepped behind his sister and felt for her ribs.

"I pushed up from the diaphragm and the quarter popped out on the first try," he said. "I was happy. I had never actually saved a life before."

Brandon had learned the Heimlich maneuver, along with CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, years earlier from his mother, a certified nursing assistant.

"I was so proud of him, he just reacted and didn't take a second to think about it," Mrs. Dolan said.

Brandon wants to a neurologist when he grows up.

"I love learning about science and health and the human brain," said the sixth-grader, who will attend Osceola Middle School this year. "I like helping people who can't help themselves."

His mother said Brandon's heroic actions June 3 show that it's crucial for children to know what to do in an emergency.

"What if they are walking down the street and choke on a lollipop with no adults around? All children should know this," she said.

Brianna, who will attend second grade at Orange Grove Elementary, said she was grateful to have a big brother like Brandon.

"He's the best brother I have," she said. "And actually, I've learned I'm not going to put anything in my mouth except food from now on."

[Last modified June 11, 2005, 00:25:17]

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