People

8th-Grader Sees Dad Choking at Dinner Table—Performs Heimlich He Learned at School, Saves His Life

TIMEDecember 6, 2021

A small-town Colorado teen was recognized by first responders in Brush after applying the lifesaving skills he learned at school to save a family member—his dad.

Mother of 14-year-old Aidan, Heather Christenson, recalled how her husband, Fred, had upon hearing a joke at the dinner table last month laughed and began to choke on a morsel of food.

When eighth-grader Aidan, who was in his room listening to music, heard his distressed dad choking, he leaped into action, brushing past his mom so quickly that he accidentally bumped her to the floor.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Heather Christensen)

Amazingly, 100-pound Aidan performed the Heimlich on his 200-pound dad, literally lifting him off the ground twice, and expelled the obstruction from his airway.

Heather, meanwhile, had grabbed the phone to dial 911, but the emergency had already passed.

After the incident, Aidan recalled what prompted him to act so quickly.

“I knew by the time a 911 show, the ambulance shows up, he probably be dead,” he told The Epoch Times.

It turns out, Aidan had picked up the Heimlich maneuver from Paul Acosta, career technical education instructor at Brush Middle School, who commended his student’s aptitude for absorbing his lessons.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Heather Christensen)

“It’s amazing how he can just sit there and soak in information like a sponge,” Acosta said. “He was never afraid to do things and try things in the classroom. And it kind of opened him up a little bit more to … really build a lot of confidence in him as well.”

Aidan was later recognized at his school by officials from the Morgan County Ambulance Service who presented him the town’s first-ever Community Lifesaver Award.

Meanwhile, Aidan’s mom is both proud and grateful for her son’s quick actions.

“I’m looking at my husband, and he’s with us,” Heather said. “If Aidan had not acted, from what Mr. Acosta explained to me, and the other ambulance folks, Fred would not be here.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Heather Christensen)

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