Heroic fifth graders save life of friend

- Some very scary moments at a school in Buford as a 10-year-old boy choked on a corndog. Students at Buford Academy started yelling for help, but before an adult could get to the table, two other heroic fifth graders handled the situation.

Those two classmates acted quickly and possibly saved a life.

The boys typically sit together at lunch, and they said when they saw their friend grab his throat they knew he wasn’t clowning around, and they had to do something the help.

Hayden Gower, Bryce Greeson, and Xander Benitez took a break from class on Thursday to sit down with News Radio 106.7’s Christy Hutching to talk about incident during Wednesday’s lunch. They said it was corndog day, and the boys were excited about that.

“I guess I was eating a little too fast and I accidentally swallowed a big chunk, and it got stuck,” said Bryce.

Xander looked up and saw something wasn’t right.

“He just never acts like that. I knew it was weird and he was struggling to breathe. I turned over to Hayden,” said Xander.

“Xander was like ‘He’s choking, he’s choking.’ Then everyone started yelling,” said Hayden.

They were cries that caught Principal Kaleen Pulley's attention from across the lunch room.

“I heard the children yelling for me, ‘Mrs. Pulley, Mrs. Pulley!’ And they were pointing to Bryce,” said Principal Pulley.

But before she could get to him, Hayden had already handled the situation. He had performed the Heimlich maneuver, something he'd never done before.

“I’ve seen it somewhere before but I don't know where,” said Hayden.

“I felt the entire world weight on my shoulders and whenever Hayden gave me the Heimlich Maneuver it was just lifted all off,” said Bryce.

“Pretty scary, yeah. I was in shock,” said Xander.

Xander noticing the signs, and knowing to get help and Hayden’s quick reaction saved Bryce’s life.

“This child performed the lifesaving method that he had no idea what he was doing, but he did it and it was just immediate,” said Principal Pulley.

Buford Academy is now considering teaching the Heimlich maneuver as part of its curriculum.

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