Montgomery County SRO honored after saving child’s life

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 4:25 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - If it weren’t for Steven Parks, the school resource officer at Auburn Middle School, sixth grader Cody Linkous may have lost his life.

“When I first saw him, I thought he was having a seizure,” Parks said. “He was slumped under the table.”

During lunch January 31, Linkous choked on a pretzel, which left him breathless on the floor. Students alerted Parks that Linkous needed help.

“It was obvious that he was choking on food,” Parks said. “I started doing stomach thrusts and was having no results with that so I transitioned him onto the floor to do chest compressions at that point.”

“If it wasn’t for him, he could have died,” Cody’s Mom Tya Linkous said.

She says she never gets calls from school about her son. When she did Tuesday, she wasn’t expecting to hear her son was headed to a hospital.

“They explained to me that when he choked, he, I guess he was gasping for air, and then he blacked out and then he was unresponsive and they said that the resource officer saved his life,” Linkous said.

It was a life-saving effort from Parks that he credits to his relationships with the students.

“When you work in a school, you grow bond with these kids, they’re very much like your own,” Parks said. “So you treat them like your own. You’re a sheepdog and that’s how I look at every every student here, but I’m so glad that they’re comfortable coming up to me and letting me know ‘something’s wrong. I need your help.’”

Cody is okay and has returned to school, but that doesn’t take away the “what ifs” inside the his mom’s mind.

“Inside, I’m still scared and nervous, because I’m the one that got that call and just thinking that I could have lost him,” she said. “it’s really scary.”

When Parks came to the rescue, he was in the process of renewing his CPR certification, which he does not believe was a coincidence.

“One of the things that I covered on Monday was choking, and I had no clue no idea that come Tuesday, I would be using this,” he said.