the Staten Island Advance

Boy With Autism Saves Classmate With Heimlich, Says He Learned It on ‘SpongeBob'

A 13-year-old boy with autism says he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a classmate at his New York City school after learning the technique from "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Brandon Williams was eating lunch at Barnes Intermediate School on Oct. 28 when he noticed that classmate Jessica Pellegrino was choking on a piece of apple.

He wrapped his arms around her mid-section and gave a sharp thrust to her diaphragm, and she spit out the piece of apple. Pellegrino said the apple skin had gotten caught in her throat and she couldn't breathe. She said she was able to scream out, and when she did, Williams came running. 

Williams was asked how he learned the Heimlich a few days later. He said, "Learned it on SpongeBob."

Williams' and Pellegrino's seventh-grade class had a party to celebrate the teenager's heroism. Some adults at the school said he deserves a medal but he said he doesn't need one.

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