Autistic boy saves classmate's life and credits Spongebob Squarepants

Boy with Autism Saves Classmate After Seeing Heimlich Maneuver on Spongebob
Boy with Autism Saves Classmate After Seeing Heimlich Maneuver on Spongebob

When autistic teen Brandon Williams noticed that his classmate was choking on an apple during lunch, he knew exactly what to do to help her...thanks to "SpongeBob SquarePants."

When 13-year-old Brandon realized that his classmate, Jessica Pellegrino, was struggling to breathe, he quickly jumped up and pulled Jessica to her feet. He then applied the Heimlich maneuver by wrapping his arms around Jessica's stomach and giving a sharp thrust to her diaphragm. When Brandon did this, Jessica was able to spit out the piece of apple skin that had become wedged in her throat.

When Brandon's father, Anthony, asked Brandon where he learned to give the Heimlich maneuver, Brandon instantly replied, "Learned it on SpongeBob." Brandon credits his favorite TV show for teaching him how to save his classmate's life. Anthony said:

%shareLinks-quote="He picks up on things that most of us would miss, and files it all away in his head, and he can recall it all in an instant. That's how he knew instantly what to do. And we're glad he did. We're proud of him." type="quote" author="Anthony Williams" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday=%

Brian Griffin, Brandon's paraprofessional at school, is trained in handling these types of emergencies. However, he said that Brandon responded to the incident and got to Jessica as quickly as possible. Griffin said:

"The cafeteria is always very noisy, but I heard the kids calling me. I was ready to jump in, but Brandon had it. He was amazing. I've never seen anything like it. Some people may have preconceived notions about autism, but these kids are intelligent, loving, just amazing, kids."

The next day, the students' class had a small party for Brandon and Jessica. When some of the adults in his school mentioned that Brandon deserves a medal for his heroism, he replied, "I don't need a medal. I'm good; I'm good."

Watch this video to learn how to apply the Heimlich maneuver:

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver
How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver

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Originally published