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10-year-old credited with saving classmate’s life during lunch

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ROCK HILL, S.C. – A fourth grader in South Carolina saved a classmate’s life after he started choking at lunch.

“When he started choking, I got behind him,” said Damariyon Pichardo. “At first, I thought he was playing.”

However, it was no laughing matter for Thomas Adkins.

“It was hard for me to breathe, and I couldn’t talk,” Adkins said.

He says he had almost finished his last chicken nugget when it got stuck in his throat.

Pichardo is still learning arithmetic, reading and writing but has a firm grasp of the Heimlich maneuver.

“My mom, she went to nursing school and then, like, she taught us how to do it before. And then that came to mind when he started choking,” Pichardo said.

The actions may have saved his friend’s life and sparked a conversation about emergency situations.

“It takes a couple of minutes for the ambulance to get there. It’s best that you know how to do it,” said Adkins.

“I was scared after I helped him because he still was kind of red,” said Pichardo.

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