6 Nov 2015

Autistic boy saves choking classmate with heimlich maneuver, which he learned from Sponge Bob

An autistic teen in New York saved a classmate's life with the Heimlich maneuver last week, and said afterward he learned about the technique from the "SpongeBob SquarePants" cartoon. 

The Staten Island Advance reported that seventh-grader Brandon Williams, 13, noticed his classmate, Jessica Pellegrino, choking on a piece of apple, and quickly sprang into action. 

"I went like this," said Brandon, demonstrating the Heimlich on his father, Anthony, in their Great Kills home. 

Asked where he learned it, Williams didn't skip a beat. 

"Learned it on 'SpongeBob,'" he said, referring to the yellow cartoon character that lives in a pineapple under the sea. 
"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," said dad Anthony Williams. "That's how he knew instantly what to do. And we're glad he did. We're proud of him." 

"The cafeteria is always very noisy, but I heard the kids calling me. I was ready to jump in, but Brandon had it," said Brian Griffin, Brandon's paraprofessional at school and a retired NYPD officer. "He was amazing. I've never seen anything like it." 

"Some people may have preconceived notions about autism, but these kids are intelligent, loving, just amazing, kids," he added. 

The incident occurred last week on Oct. 28 at Barnes Intermediate School. Williams and Pellegrino are in a special needs class together. 

This week, the class held a party to celebrate Williams' heroism. There, Pellegrino thanked him publicly and offered up a big hug. 

The teen's heroism is especially noteworthy after a 7-year-old in Brooklyn choked on a piece of sandwich and died just weeks ago. 


Post a Comment