A quick-thinking third-grader is being credited with saving a fellow student’s life last month by performing the Heimlich maneuver on him when he choked on food in a Natick school cafeteria.
Nine-year-old Daniel Shupert will be recognized tonight for his actions by the Natick Fire Department.
“I had to think positive,” Shupert said today. “I just did it. I just shot up and did it.”
Shupert leapt into action when another student began choking on Pirate’s Booty, a puffed rice and corn snack, in the cafeteria of Bennett-Hemenway Elementary School in Natick last month, said Marylee Watkins, an administrative assistant at the school.
Watkins said she was walking through the cafeteria when she saw what looked like a fight breaking out. But as she got closer, she realized Shupert was trying to save the boy’s life.
“[Shupert] gave one last compression, and then the Pirate’s Booty popped out,” she said. “You could see the instant relief on the boy’s face. It all happened so quick.”
Shubert said he saw his classmate’s face turn red, and heard him choking.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen to him,” he said. "I didn't want to know what was going to happen to him."
So he performed the Heimlich, which, Shubert said, he had learned from a television show.
"It was pretty much instinct for him," said Shupert's mother, Terri Shupert, "He responded quickly."
Shupert will be honored at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilson Middle School. A number of people will be in attendance, including the principal and vice principal of Bennett-Hemenway, and the local Boy Scout troop.
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