‘We’re even closer because he saved my life’: 5th grader saves friend who was choking

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CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Best friends are usually always there when you need them, but two local 5th graders took their bond to a whole new level. They were eating lunch at school when one began choking, and the other jumped into action.

Eleven-year-olds Teagan Baus and Luke Peterson of Concord Township in Lake County say they've been best friends since first grade.

"Bike rides around the neighborhood, we'd go out at recess, play tag together," they both explained.

Thursday afternoon, just like they always do, the 5th graders were sitting together eating lunch at Buckeye Elementary School. Teagan was eating a salami sandwich.

"I was eating a sandwich, but I didn't really eat part of the bread right, so it got clogged right here in my throat so I couldn't breathe, so I was coughing. He thought I was just normal coughing, so he started patting me on the back, but then he realized 'oh, he's choking,'" said Tegan.

Teagan says his choking got the attention of everyone in the cafeteria.

"They're all like 'he's choking, he's choking' and like everybody was freaking out, like they were all screaming," he said.

Luke demonstrated for us what he did next. Although he doesn't remember where he learned it from, he instinctively performed the Heimlich maneuver on his friend.

"I've heard of it before, but I've never actually done it and I just thought he's choking and his face is turning blue and purple, so I thought this may be it," said Luke.

"It moved the piece of bread right about here, I still couldn't breathe, then one of the recess aides came over and they grabbed me and they finally got it out," said Baus.

When we asked,  "Luke, do you feel like you saved your best friend's life?"

Luke said, “I guess I did."

Now, it's back to playing basketball, riding bikes and appreciating their friendship.

"I guess we're even closer friends because he saved my life," Teagan said.

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