Reading teacher Mandi Kapopoulos was just leaving her classroom at Equestrian Trails Elementary in Florida when she noticed something that looked like a trail of juice spilled on the floor in the hallway.
She followed the trail, on Nov. 1, and at its end found third-grader Kolston Moradi.
— Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) November 9, 2017
It wasn’t juice, Kapopoulos realized. It was Kolston’s blood. So much blood in fact, the boy’s life was in danger.
It happened at the end of the school day. As Kolston sat down in the dismissal room, a freshly sharpened pencil protruding from the side pocket of his backpack pierced his arm.
On the surface, it was just a tiny wound and Kolston later said he didn’t feel much. “It was kind of like a little pinch,” he told Fox 8.
“He wasn’t screaming or crying, or saying anything,” Kapopoulos described to the Sun Sentinel how she found the boy.
But the tip of the pencil reached deep and punctured an artery. When the boy pulled it out, the blood started gushing out.
“There were pools of blood at his feet and his whole shirt was covered in blood,” Kapopoulos said.
Kapopoulos pulled her arm inside her shirt and wrapped her sleeve around Kolston’s arm as tight as she could.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Richards, who coordinates programs for the gifted and for the disabled at the school, turned around from putting up a bulletin board. She saw the blood on the floor and immediately rushed to help.
“It was shocking to come upon the amount of blood the child had lost in such a quick amount of time,” Richards said.
The two years she once spent at a nursing college rushed back to her. She laid the boy down, elevated his arm and pressed on the wound. She told him everything would be fine.
A school nurse arrived, cut the bloodied shirt off the boy and took his blood pressure.
Other teachers stepped in to keep other students at a distance.
After some 20 minutes, the emergency crew arrived. Somebody also called the boy’s mother, who was just outside the school. “I turned a corner and that’s when I see Kolston laying on the ground,” she said.
Kolston was taken to a hospital where he received two staples. He was back in school the next day, ready for a field trip to the Miami Seaquarium.
Yet one of the responding paramedics told Kolston’s mother that the boy would have died if it weren’t for the teachers’ stopping the bleeding.
“You can’t say thank you enough to someone that has saved your child’s life,” the mother said. “There’s just no words that I could ever say to these two ladies or the principal or anyone at this school who had their hand in making sure this all went so well.”
“I’m just so thankful that this little boy is still in school with us, walking the hallways, with no after effects,” Richards said. “When you know everything that could have gone so wrong went so right …”
Principal Michele Johnson said she’s never seen anything like it in her 28 years as an educator.
“Thank you for saving my life,” Kolston told the teachers.
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