GREAT KIDS: Vernon 3rd grader saves his friend from choking

Vernon boy saves classmate from choking
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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VERNON, CT (WFSB) - A Vernon boy jumped into action to save one of his classmates from choking on a moving school bus.

Third grader Mayson Mendez remembered the incident very clearly.

“It was on the way home after school, and it was in the front of the bus,” said Mendez.

It all happened in September, when one of his best friends suddenly starting choking.

“It was a really small gummy like those gummy bears, but the mini-version,” said Mendez. “Right before he was about to swallow it, our bus driver hit a speed bump. The whole bus went like bouncing up.”

His friend Zion was sitting across the aisle from Mayson unable to breathe, but Mayson didn’t notice it right away.

Mendez said, “he was patting me really hard on my back and I’m like, ‘dang,’ and I was so surprised because I saw him choking.”

At this point the bus driver had pulled over, Mayson said he first hesitated but then quickly acted. It was all thanks to an uncle and a fresh conversation just weeks earlier.

“I remembered my uncle was a doctor,” said Mendez. “He taught me how to once how to do the Heimlich maneuver and that’s what I did.”

That is what saved Zion’s life when the gummy was lodged in his throat.

It flew out of his mouth and ended up on the floor of the bus making Mayson a hero.

Zion has since moved away, but Mayson says he will never forget and his parents stunned to this day.

“I thought about it, and I said I’m very proud of you the way you handled it,” said his dad Joseph Mendez.

The Vernon Fire Department in his hometown recognized him for his heroic efforts, but for Mayson he just did what he was taught.

Mayson said, “I was surprised at myself that I remembered that.”