7-year-old girl on life support after choking on lunch at school

BROOKLYN, New York -- A 7-year-old girl has been declared brain-dead after she choked on her lunch at school last week in New York.

Family members of the girl say no one rendered aid until a passing EMT was flagged down at a nearby intersection.

Noelia-Lisa Echavarria remains on life support at NYU Langone Medical Center.

“I want the school really, really come and give me the answer. And I want them to tell me the reason they let my daughter, be like that in the hospital, and nobody coming to tell me,” the girl’s mother Ana Santiago told WPIX.

On October 21, an educator at the school saw Noelia choking, so she ran outside and managed to flag down an EMT that was parked outside. The medic ran inside and cleared the girl's airway.

An attorney for Noelia's family says he's concerned about the amount of time it took to call 911 in this case.

"With the little information we have, it appears there was a 911 phone call at about 2:30. But that’s the same time that the EMT called 911. And if that’s the case, that means he’s the first person to call 911. And if he’s the first person to call 911, then the school did not," said David Perecman.

Officials with the Department of Education have released a statement saying they believe faculty responded swiftly, but they continue to monitor this situation.

The New York Daily News reports school staffers called Noelia's mother, who called the girl's uncle. The girl's uncle then found the girl lying on the floor in a hallway at the school -- lifeless and covered in blood, surrounded by school staffers who wouldn't touch her.

This all apparently happened before the school staffer flagged down the EMT.

"She was unresponsive. Her face was blue," the EMT told the Daily News. "Nobody was doing anything. She was definitely choking. I cleared the airway.”

The medic has been suspended from his job indefinitely because he left a patient with his partner in an ambulance when he rushed into the school after he was flagged down, according to the Daily News.

The patient left in the ambulance was an elderly man in stable condition who was being transported from an eye clinic to a nursing home.

"Our whole family is in pain and nobody is saying anything. This is a girl who woke up every morning not wanting to miss a day of school," the girl's uncle told the New York Daily News.