Teen with Autism Saves Choking Classmate After Learning Heimlich Maneuver From 'SpongeBob'
A 13-year-old boy with autism saved a choking classmate by performing the Heimlich maneuver, which he said he learned from watching "SpongeBob SquarePants."
Brandon Williams was eating lunch at Barnes Intermediate School in Staten Island, New York on October 28 when he noticed his classmate, Jessica Pellegrino, choking on a piece of apple.
He jumped into action - wrapping his arms around her mid-section and giving a sharp thrust to her diaphragm, according to The Staten Island Advance. Jessica spat out the piece of apple.
When Brandon was asked how he knew about the maneuver, he responded: "Learned it on Spongebob."
The boy's proud dad, Anthony, told the newspaper: "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."
Brandon's seventh-grade class had a party to celebrate his quick-thinking. While some adults and kids at the school believe he should get a medal, he said he doesn't need one.
Bizarrely, it's not the first time the Nickelodeon character has saved a life.
In 2010, a 12-year-old girl from Long Island also recalled a "Spongebob" episode to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a friend choking on gum, the New York Post reported at the time.
The girl, Miriam Starobin, said she believed she had seen an episode where SpongeBob uses the Heimlich maneuver to retrieve a clarinet from the throat of another character, Squidward.
In another episode of the show, the character Patrick also attempts to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a clam.