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Boy Rescues Friend from Ninja

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A first grader saved his friend's life by performing the Heimlich maneuver.

In Moms Are Talking About we told you about a 7-year-old boy in Granite City, Illinois, who saved a choking classmate's life. Ben Mathenia used the Heimlich maneuver his dad once taught him to dislodge a small plastic ninja figurine from his friend's throat. Mom•Logic talked to Ben's Mom, Shari Mathenia, about her heroic son.

Mom•Logic: Could you tell us what happened?

Shari: On Thursday afternoon, the boy sitting next to Benjamin was playing with a plastic ninja figurine. It was about an inch big, but somehow he managed to swallow it. Ben realized his friend was choking, he was making choking sounds.

Mom•Logic: What did your son do next?

Shari: My son jumped up and gave him the Heimlich manuever.

Mom•Logic: How old is your son, and how did he know what to do?

Shari: My son is 7 years old. His dad had talked to him about it, and he remembered how to do it.

Mom•Logic: How did you find out your son had saved a classmate's life? And what was your reaction?

Shari: On Thursday afternoon, the school principal called me and told me what happened. I was surprised but extremely proud that Ben recognized what was going on and jumped in to help.

Mom•Logic: How do you feel now about what your son has done? And what was the community's reaction?

Shari: I am very proud of him. It's wonderful that he was able to think on his feet as quickly as he did. He is being hailed as a hero. The local newspaper and other media outlets came out to do a story and took pictures. He has received quite a bit of attention, more than he knows what to do with at this point. It's wonderful, but a bit overwhelming for us.

Mom•Logic: Prior to this, did you know the little boy, Drake Wilson, or his family?

Shari: I knew this little boy was in Ben's class. They are friends. I didn't know his Mom prior to this, but she called me and said she was extremely grateful.

Mom•Logic: Now that your son has saved another child's life, what advice would you give to other Moms?

Shari: I would tell other Moms to talk to their kids about basic first aid. They need to know little things like how to call 911. We didn't even think Ben would take the information in like he did. Learning the Heimlich maneuver prepared him for an emergency situation.

To learn more about how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, click here.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kelly January 15, 2008, 11:43 PM

What a HERO!

Debbie S. January 17, 2008, 1:01 PM

I’m proud to know Ben. Quick thinking!!!

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