(NEW YORK) — A 12-year-old Massachusetts girl is being credited with helping save her twin brother’s life.
Amelia Loverme was eating lunch with her twin brother Charlie and their classmates in the school cafeteria this month when Charlie began choking on a slice of cheese.
“I was just really scared because I didn’t know if I would be able to get it out of my throat or if it would just be stuck there,” Charlie told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I thought I was going to pass out, or like die.”
Surveillance video from the cafeteria shows Charlie stumbling and pointing to his mouth as he seeks help.
As other students back away, seemingly unsure of what to do, Amelia runs in to help her brother, wrapping her arms around him and performing the Heimlich maneuver.
“I just knew that I needed to help him, or try and help him,” Amelia told GMA. “I didn’t know how to do it either. I just did what I thought was right.”
The Heimlich maneuver is designed to be used on people ages 1 and older, specifically when a person is not able to speak, cough or breathe, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.
When performing the maneuver, the ACEP says to first reach around the waist of the person who is choking, placing one clenched fist above the navel and one below the rib cage.
Then, holding the two fists together, push “backward and upward under the rib cage six to 10 times quickly,” according to the ACEP.
In the surveillance video of Charlie and Amelia, Charlie is able to remove the cheese from his mouth after just a few abdominal thrusts.
Christy Ruth, Charlie and Amelia’s mom, said she is “grateful” that Amelia was looking out for her brother.
“This is the stuff you hope and pray never, ever to happens to one of your children,” Ruth said. “Kids need to pay attention and look out for one another, and I’m just grateful that Amelia did.”
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