Children's Health

7-year-old who choked on school lunch declared brain-dead

Empty nurses station in a hospital.

Empty nurses station in a hospital.

A 7-year-old Brooklyn girl has been declared brain-dead after choking on her public-school lunch — and her family blames staffers for not responding fast enough.

Noelia Echavarria’s family continues to keep her on life support at NYU Langone Medical Center in hopes “she’ll make her way back,” family lawyer David Perecman said.

The first-grader choked on a sandwich last Wednesday at PS 250 in Williamsburg. Her parents suspect she may have tried to finish too quickly, as she had complained about being rushed by teachers in the past.

“They should have saved her life,” mom Ana Iris Santiagosaid through tears. The mother had to be hospitalized herself after she had multiple seizures from seeing her child hooked up to the ventilator.

A private EMT who happened to be driving past the site transporting a nursing-home patient was hailed down by a school worker and tried to help Noelia.

“She was already turning blue and that takes awhile,” said the medic, Qwasi Reid, who works for Assist Ambulance in Brooklyn.

Reid thinks that the young girl had been choking for at least five minutes before he got there — and added that no one in the building seemed to be helping her. “People were screaming, but no one was doing anything,” he said.

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