9-Year-Old Honored After Performing Heimlich Maneuver to Save Classmate’s Life

Photo Credit: WMAR 2 News


Jace Wiggins, a 9-year-old fourth-grade student, was honored by his school after performing the Heimlich Maneuver to save the life of a classmate. According to WMAR 2 News, the event happened on June 12 during a class party at Leith Walk Elementary School.

Wiggins stated that his classmate was drinking water when he realized she was upset. Following his discovery of what was wrong, the quick-thinking pupil sprang into action.

“I was kind of scared, but I just got behind her and did the Heimlich Maneuver,” Wiggins, who was 7 years old when he learned the maneuver, said.

The 9-year-old also remembered his classmate chewing on a cap and drinking water when it fell. “We were just having fun listening to music in the music room.” She went to get a drink of water, and the next thing he knew, she was chewing on a cap and drinking water, and it had to have gone down,” he recalled.

After executing the maneuver three times, the fourth grader stated the cap eventually came out. “When she was gasping for air and trying to get out what she was saying, she was trying to say help, but we couldn’t understand what she was saying, but I kind of heard it.”

Besides teaching her son how to perform the life-saving maneuver, Wiggins’ mother, Charlie Gilliam, also taught him how to do CPR. “Cardiac arrest is something that it doesn’t have a face, it doesn’t have an age limit so I think that it’s very important and imperative to have everyone around you just know,” Gilliam, who is a certified instructor, said.

She also mentioned how pleased she was of her son. “He called, and then the school called and said your son saved someone’s life, and I think his adrenaline was rushing, and I’m like what do you mean you did all of this, and he said I just did it,” she told WMAR 2 News.

This summer, Wiggins will assist his mother in organizing classes to educate children how to conduct CPR and AED.

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