Kansas 4th-grader rescues another student with Heimlich maneuver

SCOTT CITY, Kan. – It’s always good to have a friend in the school cafeteria -- especially when that friend is a hero.

Scott City Elementary School fourth-grader Keller Turner wasted no time leaping into action to save a friend from choking at lunch.

It happened on Friday, Dec. 13 at around 1:30 p.m. in the Kansas school cafeteria. Nicole Turner, the proud mother of the 10-year-old, said the students were having lunch as usual when a friend of Keller’s started choking.

“His face turned red really, really fast, and I knew he wasn’t joking,” Keller said. “I just took action instead of waiting for it.”

Nicole and Keller told KSN News that a lunch duty attendant recognized the student in distress and began patting them on the back. However, the pats weren’t hard enough or working fast enough to eject the food lodged in the student’s airway.

Keller, recognizing that more had to be done, quickly began performing the Heimlich maneuver.

“I’m not sure where he learned that actually,” Nicole said in a phone interview. “I didn’t teach him that. His grandmother and aunt are both nurses, but I don’t know that they taught him that.”

“My grandma told me about it,” Keller said. “I just remember her saying something about it.”

Keller’s speedy response and secret skill paid off. After reaching his arms around the choking student and squeezing tightly, both were relieved when a lodged chicken nugget flew out of the student’s mouth and across the room.

School officials said they're very proud and shared his heroism on the Scott City Elementary Facebook page.