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Bellingham Memorial School Worker Lynch Recognized for Saving Boy’s Life

Shown is Mrs. Tina Lynch, left, with a very grateful student, Colin Mooney, right. Lynch sprang into action at Bellingham Middle School cafeteria on May 12th, saving Colin from choking.

By J.D. O’Gara
“I was scared. I was just thinking like, what am I going to do?”
Those are the words of Colin Mooney, who will start 6th grade in at Bellingham Memorial Middle School in the fall. Things might have been different, had it not been for Mrs. Tina Lynch, who was working in the Bellingham Middle School cafeteria on May 12th, when Colin choked on his chicken patty while chatting with his friends.
The middle-schooler understood what was happening to him, and he had the sense to tap Mrs. Lynch on the shoulder. “I pointed to my throat,” he says, “She said, ‘Oh my god!’ and she told the lunch lady next to her and asked her what to do and brought me to the back of the cafeteria and did the Heimlich twice, and she got it out.” Colin adds that his friends told him they saw his face turn color.


 “Colin is alive today because of her!” exclaims Colin’s Mom, Christine. “Obviously, it’s terrifying – you don’t send your kid to school expecting anything like that to happen. I’m just so grateful to her. I think she deserves all the praise and recognition. She acted without thinking and did what she was trained to do. You never think you’re going to use it. She’s a hero!”
Fate, it seems, might have had a little bit to do with Colin’s good fortune.
“(Mrs. Lynch) said she doesn’t normally work at the middle school – she was cover ing because they were short that day, and she doesn’t normally work the register, she works in back. The stars were aligned,” says Christine.
Mrs. Lynch was recognized by an email sent out to parents by Memorial School principal David S. Cutler on the day the incident took place. Cutler expressed his gratitude for “the swift response and calm and cool action of one of our amazing cafeteria staff, Mrs. Tina Lynch,” adding, “May 6th was National Lunch Hero Day, and Mrs. Lynch has truly taken that to a whole new level. On behalf of EVERYONE at Bellingham Memorial School, THANK YOU!”
Mr. Cutler also recognized Tina Lynch for her lifesaving action at a subsequent school committee meeting 
“She’s just so humble and so modest, but what she did was huge, it really was,” says Christine.