Worried that Phillips might be in danger, Koch immediately called Charlie Lovelady, the principal of the school in Muskegon Heights, who then got a staff member to call 911 while he spoke to Phillips on the phone.
"I noticed her speech was impaired, and I asked her if she was alright, and she was stumbling over her words and it was getting worse by the minute," Lovelady told CNN. "I knew the symptoms of a stroke because I lost my father from a stroke so I told her hold on and immediately got her help."
Even though an ambulance was on its way to Phillips, Lovelady asked two of his employees to drive to her house to check up on her and the young children under her care.
"I would have died if it weren't for the teacher being so quick and fast about getting me help," Phillips told CNN from her hospital bed.
"It made me so close to the staff and the principal, even the secretary who hurried to get me on the phone with the principal. They showed up at my house to make sure I'm okay," she said through tears. "I thank God I didn't die in front of my kids."
While she is still at the hospital, Phillips said she is slowly recovering.
"I am immensely proud of both Ms. Koch and Mr. Lovelady, their quick actions and the energy they have poured into relationships with students and families during this new way of education are making a significant positive difference in the lives of our students and their families," Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System Superintendent Rané Garcia told CNN.
'Being part of a community that cares'
Like many other teachers who are still adjusting to online learning, Koch has been working hard to make sure her students and their families feel comfortable in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.