KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A sophomore at Hardin Valley Academy is credited with saving his classmate from choking on candy.
Diego Almeida was sitting in German class on Valentine’s Day when his classmate started choking on candy.
“Everyone backed up from her and I guess no one else was going to do the Heimlich, they didn’t know what to do and instinct just pulled me in,” Almeida said.
Almeida learned the Heimlich maneuver in an unconventional way.
“I had learned it off of an episode of ‘Bob’s Burgers’. It was season one, episode 10 I think, and it just stuck with me,” Almeida said.
Asst. Chief Mark Wilbanks with the Knoxville Fire Department says the Heimlich is an easy maneuver to learn.
“Basically, all you do is walk around behind that person, and you’re going to take your arms around their entire body, right above the belly button,” Wilbanks said. “You want to place your fists and kind of hold them together and pull in and upward.”
Wilbanks also said it is important to make sure the person is choking before performing the maneuver.
“We always want to ask ‘are you choking?’, because if they’re able to move air we don’t want to move that obstruction, we want to leave it in place until a higher level of care gets there,” Wilbanks said.
Almeida thinks more people should be prepared to save someone from choking.
“I think that people should definitely learn the Heimlich, choking is a very common thing to happen in any situation or household. I just happened to be caught in the middle of it, and luckily I had instinct and knowledge,” Almeida said.
The student’s mother wrote him a thank you note to show their appreciation for his actions.