Reporting Aristea Brady
ST. MICHAEL, Minn. (WCCO) — A 13-year old St. Michael boy is being hailed the “lunchroom hero” after saving his friend with the Heimlich maneuver.
On Monday at St. Michael Albertville Middle School East, Carson Wooters said instinct took over when he saw his friend’s face turn purple after eating a peach.
Having lunch together is an everyday occurrence for Wooters and his friend, Nick Putnam.
“We met through hockey, and we’ve just been buds ever since,” Putnam said.
Monday’s lunch, however, was a bit more memorable.
Wooters said Putnam ate a peach and when he started to laugh, he inhaled the peach.
“He started to look around, and his face was getting kind of red, he gets up kind of looks at us, and his face is purple by then and he does the universal sign,” Wooters said, indicating that Putnam put his hands to his throat.
“It was just like, please to God, get it out of here for me!” Putnam said.
That’s when Wooters said he performed the Heimlich. Upon the first thrust, Wooters dislodged the food.
Wooters said he learned the Heimlich when doing a fifth grade project on the human body, and he just remembered it.
“It just happened so fast that after I was more in shock than I was doing it,” Wooters said.
As a result of the incident, the duo said they have a stronger friendship.
“His signature on his phone is ‘Carson’s my hero,’” Wooters said.
Putnam said he learned a lesson out of the ordeal: “Don’t laugh when you have food in your mouth!”
Ever since Monday’s lunch, Wooters said he can’t keep up with the stream of texts and phone calls hailing him St. Michael’s “hometown hero.”