Kolston Moradi, center, was rescued thanks to the fast actions of teachers and other adults at his school. The School District of Palm Beach County
Kolston Moradi, center, was rescued thanks to the fast actions of teachers and other adults at his school. The School District of Palm Beach County

National

'Pools of blood at his feet': 8-year-old nearly died at school — because of a pencil

By Josh Magness

jmagness@mcclatchy.com

November 10, 2017 09:35 AM

UPDATED November 10, 2017 12:18 PM

It’s not something teacher Mandi Kapopoulos expected to see at work — a third grade student, covered in blood with even more gushing onto the floor.

That student was Kolston Moradi, who accidentally stabbed himself with a sharpened pencil in his backpack Wednesday when he sat down at the end of the school day at Equestrian Trails Elementary School in Wellington, Florida, according to the Palm Beach County School District.

The pencil, around six-inches deep near his armpit, punctured an artery, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Kolston, who rushed up to Kapopoulos, told WPTV he had just sharpened the pencil, which he put in his backpack with the point facing upwards.

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And when it stabbed him, Kolston told WPTV he “didn’t really feel anything.”

“He wasn’t screaming or crying or saying anything,” Kapopoulos told the Sun-Sentinel. “There were pools of blood at his feet and his whole shirt was covered in blood.”

The teacher had to act, and quick. She used a makeshift tourniquet — her sleeve wrapped tightly around Kolston’s arm — while coordinator Elizabeth Richards rushed to put on a pair of gloves so she could apply direct pressure to the 8-year-old’s bleeding wound.

Richards quickly returned and laid down on the floor with Kolston as she applied pressure and waited for an ambulance to arrive.

“There were hundreds of other kids in the hall, but I didn’t even see or hear them,” Richards said, according to the school district. “I just focused on Kolston. I kept telling him, ‘You’ve got this. It’s going to be OK.’”

While that frightening scene was unfolding, Kolston’s mother, Annalisa Moradi, was parked in the carline outside the school, waiting to pick up her little boy from what was supposed to be another normal day of classes, the school district wrote.

The school called Moradi, asking her to come inside.

“When I saw the ambulance, my heart sank,” said Moradi, who was escorted to her son by principal Michele Johnson. “As she ushered me down the hall, she told me to relax. At first I didn’t understand what happened, but as soon as I walked in, I felt like the situation was under control.”

“They were calm,” she added, according to the school district, “and they kept me calm.”

Paramedics arrived about 20 minutes after receiving the first call about Kolston’s injury, and the third-grader survived. He even returned to school the next day, with two staples in his arm, the Palm Beach Post reported.

An EMT said Kolston would have likely died without the quick actions of his teachers, Moradi told the school district.

Now, the mother has a new perspective after the terrifying ordeal.

“He's a hockey player, he's a lacrosse player,” she told WPTV. “I think and worry all day long about what's going to happen to him and little did I know that it would be a pencil that would ultimately almost end his life.”

How to give your child a healthy start to the school year

You may be buying notebooks, erasers and crayons to prepare your kids to go back to school, but you should be thinking about preparing them from the inside out, too. Here are some healthy adjustments you can make to ensure your child gets off to a good start.

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