A 7-year-old elementary school student is being hailed a hero after he saved his classmate’s life during lunch by using the Heimlich maneuver.

David Diaz Jr., a second-grader from Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Binghamton, New York, stepped into action when he noticed his friend had begun choking on pizza at school.

He said he learned the life-saving move from “The Good Doctor,” a TV medical drama he’d been watching with his father, David Diaz Sr., during the last year.

“If anybody is choking or is in danger, you always have to save them,” David Diaz Jr. told Fox News Digital during a recent phone interview.

“If you don’t, then that could be really sad,” the boy added.

Young David said he didn’t know for sure that he’d be able to save his friend when he put his arms around him. But he hoped that he could — since he was closer to the choking student than his teachers were at the time. 

Kristin Korba, a second-grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary, told Fox News Digital that David had been sitting across from the choking student.

“The adults were circulating the cafeteria, monitoring,” Korba recalled. “David rushed behind [the choking student] and performed the Heimlich.”

New York elementary school student David Diaz Jr., is seen giving out a fist bump in the classroom.
Student David Diaz Jr. is seen fist bumping New York State Sen. Fred Akshar in the classroom.
Sen. Fred Akshar / Facebook

“I went over right after it happened and checked [on the student who choked],” Korba added. “He was cleared by the nurse and parents [were] contacted.”

When Korba spoke with David, she learned he had seen the Heimlich maneuver performed on a TV show and made a note to “remember” it, since it looked like something “important” to know.

The Heimlich maneuver, also known as an abdominal thrust, is a first-aid procedure in which a person must apply pressure between someone else’s navel and rib cage in order to dislodge an obstruction in the victim’s windpipe, according to the National Library of Medicine. 

People can perform the Heimlich on themselves or others in the event of choking. 

David’s bravery was recognized on June 13 when Binghamton City School District superintendent Dr. Tonia Thompson and New York State Sen. Fred Akshar paid him a visit.

He was presented with a New York State Senate Commendation Award for his heroic deed.

“I’m very proud of my son,” Diaz Sr. told Fox News Digital. “He’s an angel in my eyes.” 

“If he’d like to pursue becoming a doctor when he grows up, I’ll be happy to help him achieve that later in life. But it’s really up to him,” Diaz Sr. continued.

He said he hopes his son will “keep on learning from educational TV shows and become what he wants to become.”



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