When you have a best friend, you’d like to think that they would jump in to try to save you from harm’s way, even death, should the situation ever occur. For the majority of us, that wish goes untested. Not so when it comes to best buds Kaden Mancilla and Eban McKenzie from Norwalk Middle School in Norwalk, Ohio. That opportunity was granted as the two sat eating lunch at school one day, joking around like best friends do.
It was just another day of fun at lunch for the two until…
One day not long ago, Kaden and Eban were talking and laughing as they sat eating their school lunch together. Eban shared a joke with Kaden that sent him into a full out belly laugh. Kaden happened to be chewing on a carrot at the time, and a piece got stuck in his windpipe as he laughed hysterically.
Kaden began choking.
Eban, who has never been trained in first aid or CPR, knew he had to do something to help his friend.
He instinctively knew what to do, he just wasn’t sure of exactly how to do it, the “it” being the Heimlich maneuver.
“He had his hand over his throat just coughing and coughing,” Eban said in an interview with FOX 8 News.
“Everybody has the general sense of knowing what to do, but I didn’t really know how to properly actually do it, but I tried the best I could.”
13-year-old Eban didn’t hesitate as he bolted into action immediately. “It kind of just happened,” he said. “I didn’t panic. I just thought, ‘Well, he’s choking,’ and got up and just did it.”
Everyone thought they were just messing around.
It didn’t take long for students and teachers to notice the two of them, but they initially dismissed it as the two just messing around. But this wasn’t horseplaying. It was a matter of life and death.
When school staff reviewed the security camera footage later that day, they confirmed what had actually transpired. Eban had dislodged the piece of carrot using the Heimlich maneuver successfully and saved Kaden’s life. Everyone, especially Kaden, could not have been more relieved and grateful for Eban’s quick thinking and action.
It changed their friendship forever.
Saving your best friend’s life can elevate a friendship to a whole new level, and it certainly has with these two. The two pals still joke around just as they always have, but that one day in the lunchroom has brought them together even closer and is a moment neither of them will ever forget.
Watch the video below to see and hear Eban and Kaden talk about what happened, and see the security camera footage that shows the lifesaving event.