RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- An eighth-grader from Depoali Middle School is being called a hero after saving another student from choking. The boy's mom and the movie, "Mrs. Doubtfire" are also getting some credit for saving a life.
Everyone can smile about it, but it was no laughing matter when it happened on Monday. Eighth-grader Edwin Mendoza took a bite of his hamburger during lunchtime and within a blink of an eye, something so routine, turned potentially deadly.
I was walking down the hall here with a couple of friends and we came over to get a drink and I saw Edwin," said eighth-grader Zack Jensen. "He was holding his throat like this and he couldn't breath."
In a matter of moments and after a few attempts to swallow, Edwin Mendoza was in serious trouble. "I tried to make it to the water fountain, but when I started pressing the button for the water fountain, like my vision started getting blurry."
Zack Jensen immediately noticed something was wrong. "I felt like I was going to pass out," Mendoza said. "Zack said like, 'Dude, are you okay?'"
Without any hesitation, Jensen took action. "I just spun him around and I did the Heimlich Maneuver, and then the food came flying out."
Assistant Principal Joye Williams was within sight of the boys, but says it happened so fast, it was over before she even knew what was going on. "When he turned around and I realized that he had been choking and he had just saved his life, the other student, the look on his face, of course he was gasping for air, but I think he couldn't believe what just happened."
As fate would have it, Jensen happened to be at the water fountain and happened to know how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. "My mom taught me and my sister when we were little, and I saw the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams."
I did it as hard as I could and it came out with two pumps," said Jensen.
Mendoza said, "My ribs still hurt, but it was worth it.
The Heimlich Maneuver, even when performed correctly, can crack ribs. So, Mendoza will be checked out by his physician this week, because his ribs are still tender.
As for Jensen, school officials say he will receive an award for his heroism, but that will have to be scheduled for sometime after testing at the school is complete.