Fourth-graders Lane Griffin and Zacharay Barnes were eating breakfast in the cafeteria at Ernie Pyle Elementary School in Vermillion County, Indiana.
While they were eating they noticed another student, and kindergartner, turning blue. The child was choking to death on his cereal.
For that small student, it was his lucky day. The two boys who saw him choking just happened to know how to react.
Lane Griffin’s mother is a firefighter. Lane had accompanied her to CPR training, Little Things reported. Zac Barnes had spent time watching YouTube videos on CPR and other lifesaving techniques.
When the pair saw they choking child, the rushed across the lunchroom and began pounding on the child’s back until he coughed hard enough to clear his airway.
Zac Barnes told WTHI, “We were asking him questions like if he was okay and what he was choking on and he was choking on Reese’s Puffs.”
According to the two boys, many people in the lunchroom never noticed that anything unusual had happened. Some students did see, the two boys told WTHI, and at least one student told the pair how grateful they were.
Lane Griffin described the moment: “My heart was racing at that time and my voice was real squeaky ’cause I was really nervous and I didn’t know what was going on and she said thank you for saving my cousin. I said that’s your cousin? She said yeah and… I’m glad you were there.”
Both Lane Griffin and Zac Barnes said that they thought everyone should be taught basic lifesaving techniques.
“Personally, I think it should be ’cause it’s something that, if someone’s choking, and the teachers are talking over there, they wouldn’t know so someone’s going to have to learn how to do it,” Griffin told WTHI.
Barnes added, “I think a lot of kids could maybe go over it with their family, have like a little practice drill so say if you’re one of the older children in your family, you could go over it with one of the littler kids.”
The two students are being hailed as heroes for their quick thinking.
On top of the warm inner glow that comes from knowing that they did a great good deed, the two students got more tangible rewards.
The school principal gave each of them a card thanking them for their actions—and a candy bar for each.
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