Twelve-year-old boy saves choking classmate with Heimlich manoeuvre

A quick-thinking 12-year-old in Pennsylvania saved his friend from choking after successfully performing the Heimlich manoeuvre on him.

Ethan Williams performed the manoeuvre on his friend Bryce Henry, after he began to choke on a piece of apple during a lunch break.

Speaking to local outlet WPVI, the seventh-grader said: “We were in the lunchroom just having a casual lunch like usual and Bryce started to choke on an apple.

“Some of my friends tried to help him out, but I went over and I used the Heimlich and I got the apple that he was choking on.”

Bryce added: “I was just eating lunch and then it suddenly flew down my throat and I started choking.

Ethan Williams, left, rushed to help his friend Bryce Henry (WPVI)
Ethan Williams, left, rushed to help his friend Bryce Henry (WPVI)

“While I was choking, everything was a little bit blurry and stuff. [Ethan] grabbed my stomach and I didn’t know what was happening. And then he did the Heimlich.

“He literally saved my life.”

The pair had been taught how to perform the life-saving move in a special class earlier in the year. Their teacher, Maureen Carroll said that Ethan’s reaction had been “textbook”.

Bryce says his friend ‘literally saved my life’ (WPVI)
Bryce says his friend ‘literally saved my life’ (WPVI)

“Anyone at any age can choke on any type of food, so we make sure that we cover that very well with them. I hope that no one ever has to use it, little did I know Ethan would be using it a few months later in the coming school year,” she told WPVI.

Ms Carroll recently retired after a 26-year teaching career. The family consumer studies class, in which she showed the boys the Heimlich was one of her last things she had taught.

She added: “I’m so proud of [Ethan] because he listened. He learned. He recognised what was happening, and he acted so fearlessly.

“It validates all the hard work that we put into teaching.”

Ethan said that everyone should be taught how to perform the manouevre. “I’m not even certified, but I think everyone should at least know how to do it,” he said.

“Because if I didn’t do that, Bryce might not be here today.”