MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Waconia High School student is being praised for saving the life of one of his classmates.

Cody Ehrriech noticed a classmate choking during the school’s lunch hour in October.

“You know, he’s like, ‘Hey, I had to do what I had to do,'” Rick Ehrriech, Cody’s father, said.

Cody, who has autism, gave the Heimlich maneuver to a student who was choking.

Two thrusts to the abdomen got the boy to spit out the food and breathe normally. Cody went back to class as if nothing had happened, but word got around school.

“I ran into the boy a little later in the day and said, ‘Hey, I heard you were choking,’ you know, and he said, ‘I was, but Cody saved me,'” Carver County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Karnes said. “I knew exactly who he was talking about.”

School officials found video surveillance showing Cody’s good deed.

“I started crying,” Rick said. “It brings tears to your eyes.”

Cody’s act of heroism did not go unnoticed. Rep. Jim Nash, the former of mayor of Waconia, gave Cody a certificate of recognition from the Office of the Speaker of the House on Thursday.

“Somebody who really doesn’t want any limelight, doesn’t want any recognition, but I think he deserves,” Nash said.

Cody does not remember ever learning the Heimlich, or as he calls it, a “bear hug.”

“[It was] instinct,” Cody said.

The school’s health class gave a lesson on the Heimlich maneuver the day after Cody’s live-saving moment.

Kate Raddatz