A Utah teenager was choking in his middle school cafeteria, when his friend remembered how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, and did it to great success.
Video caught the lifesaving action back in October, but it’s gathered new life thanks to the “PublicFreakout” subreddit, where someone posted the video last week.
It begins with the student, Jackson Johnson, who began choking on a chicken sandwich at West Jordan Middle School and found himself unable to breathe in what appears to be a school surveillance video.
“I was really terrified,” Johnson told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City, which covered the story when it originally happened. “My immediate reaction was to see if I could cough it up into the trash can.”
“That didn’t work, so I went over to Hunter and did the international sign that I’m choking.”
He was referring to Hunter Olsen, a friend who was in the lunchroom at the time. At first, he and other people in their friend group though he was joking around.
“Then he did the sign and his face was a different color and his eyes looked scared, so I did the Heimlich.” Olsen said.
Because he took an eighth-grade health class where this was covered, he knew how to do the Heimlich maneuver.
“I kind of knew exactly what to do,” he recalled. “It was kind of ‘fight or flight’ mode and something just clicked in my brain and I kind of did it.”
The video shows Olsen coming up behind Johnson, and repeatedly using the maneuver until the food is dislodged and Johnson’s able to breathe again. Then, he did what you might expect a middle school student to do in that situation — raise his arms above his head in triumph.
Johnson was just grateful Olsen paid attention in health class that particular day. “I’m very thankful that he knew how to do it,” Johnson observed.
“Never even took off his backpack,” observed a Redditor after watching the video. “What a bad ass!!!”