Posted on Dec 18, 2011
A freak accident took the life of a 9-year-old Bronx boy last week at PS 47 in Parkchester. Fourth-grader Jonathan Jewth lost consciousness in the cafeteria thanks to two meatballs that were stuck in his throat. Earlier this week, his family took him off life support. Strikingly, none of the workers in the cafeteria knew how to help Jonathan.

Andrea Perez, 25, had come to pick her daughter up from school just after noon when she witnessed the boy fall to the ground, motionless. She saw lunch aids yell at the unconscious boy to force his fingers down his throat, but he was already out by then, so Perez called 911. Another parent heard her screaming into the phone and rushed over to inspect the situation. She attempted to dig for the meatballs and was able to get one out, but the other remained stuck.

When emergency personnel arrived, the boy was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center. He suffered a heart attack and lost the ability to breathe. He then went into a coma and suffered severe brain damage. By this Monday, December 12, his family decided to take him off life support. His wake was held on Friday.


School personnel, in some instances, may be required to have basic first aid skills. Why nobody from the school attempted to perform the heimlich maneuver is unexplained in the news reports. Neglect or carelessness may have contributed to the injury and tragedy this boy suffered, but more information would be needed to come to that conclusion. Hopefully, the school will fully investigate into why one of its students died when there were school personnel standing around who didn't know what to do and were not capable of recognizing a child in distress.

If you would like more information about how wrongful death and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

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