By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Not many third graders can say they saved a classmate’s life. But a 9-year-old boy in Edina can because two weeks ago, he was able to rescue a friend who was choking.

It happened at Concord Elementary School in Edina during a school picnic. When student Fletcher Dypwick started to choke, his friend Zach Furman successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver.

Furman says he and his buddy Aiden Roberts were looking for Dypwick to see if he wanted to sit with them for lunch.

“I thought he was throwing up for a sec, and Zach says ‘No, no, he’s choking.’ So I ran and got teachers,” Roberts said.

But instead of waiting for help, Furman sprang into action.

“I started doing the Heimlich,” Furman said. “I put my hands in a fist and I pulled up … cuz the air needs to get up and it can pop the food right out – which it did!”

Dypwick says it was a French fry that got caught in his throat.

“I didn’t know what it was called but I knew that he was helping me,” Dypwick said.

Furman’s dad, Matt Furman, says he had just taught him and his older brother how to perform the Heimlich just two weeks before the incident.

Dypwick’s grandfather, Bruce Knutson, says his family is grateful.

“As much as saving Fletcher’s life, I really like they were looking for him to sit with them and be part of the picnic,” Knustson said. “So it’s a win-win situation.”

Right after performing the Heimlich maneuver on his friend, Furman apparently went back to where he was sitting to finish his lunch.

He is being very modest about it all, especially the hero talk.

“I wouldn’t call myself a hero for a Heimlich, but I’m glad Fletcher’s OK,” he said.

Dypwick’s mom rewarded him with a playdate, and the school principal wrote a letter to his parents.

Matt Furman told WCCO that he wanted his sons – who are 9- and 10-years-old – to be able to take care of each other in the event of an emergency. He says his sons play together a lot, but he says they hadn’t even been practicing the manuever.

He’s proud that his son was confident enough and skilled enough to pull it off.


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