1:27 PM PDT, May 11, 2021
A 12-year-old Georgia boy jumped into action and saved his friend’s life after he was choking on his food and couldn’t breathe using the life-saving techniques his aunt had taught him over the past year.
On Wednesday Christian Swope, a student at Liberty Middle School, was eating lunch in the cafeteria with his friend when he saw that his friend was in distress. Swope performed the Heimlich maneuver on his friend and was able to dislodge the food from his friend’s throat, People reported
After learning that his friend would be okay, Swope said his classmates cheered for him and called him a lifesaver, Fox5 Atlanta reported
Swope said that his auntie, Mercy Aguilar, who works as a nurse, taught him a variety of life-saving skills, but said she never expected him to actually use them, according to the Newton County School press release.
“I have a skeleton that I bought during nursing school so last year I taught my boys how to do different safety moves,” Aguilar said in the release. “I was just so ecstatic and shocked when I found out. When you get a call from the school during the day you don’t expect it to be good news.”
According to the school, the “Coin of Distinction” has only been awarded a few times to those individuals who demonstrated courage and compassion. One of those coins was awarded to American civil rights legend the late Dr. Frederick Douglas Reese, who was a member of Selma’s “Courageous Eight,” People reported.
During a short ceremony, Swope was presented with the coin as Principal Keisa Vincent stood nearby. The event was recorded and later shared on Newton County School’s YouTube.
Swope’s action made everyone so proud. Superintendent Fuhrey and Principal Vincent called Swope a “hero.”
“You saved someone’s life … and that is most definitely worthy of the Superintendent’s Coin of Distinction,” Fuhrey said.
Vincent added: ” ”In a situation where many adults may have panicked, Christian was calm and knew what to do,” he added,” “He’s definitely a hero in my book.”
The Superintendent’s Coin of Distinction is only granted to “selfless” individuals who “demonstrate their commitment to others through their actions and words,” Fuhrey said in the press release.