A West Des Moines junior high student quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver earlier this month and saved a classmate’s life.
Colby Cook, an eighth grader at Indian Hills Junior HIgh School in Clive, sprang into action after a friend, Kyle Randolph, choked on a meatball sandwich at lunch, the Des Moines Register reports.
Randolph stood up and put his hand to his throat to indicate that a meatball had lodged in his throat and he couldn’t breathe. Cook, 13, said he performed the Heimlich without really thinking about it. He hadn’t been trained in the lifesaving technique, but had seen it on television enough to know the basics.
The meatball shot out of Randolph’s mouth and the two nonchalantly went about their day. Cook went to his next class and Randolph reported to the school nurse.
“They just took care of it themselves,” Indian Hills Principal Shane Christiansen said. “They didn’t say anything. It was the end of the week, and they just went home.”
When Cook told his parents, Clay and Teri Cook, that he had saved a life that day in school, they wondered if their son was exaggerating, out of character as that would have been.
“It’s not that we didn’t believe him, but you know, it was a pretty incredible story,” Clay Cook told the newspaper. “We had to think, OK, did this really happen?”But then Randolph’s parents came to the home to thank Colby for his spontaneous heroics, “it clicked,” Clay Cook said. “This is for real.”