A 5th-grade student who is credited with saving his teacher was honored by the Bay County Sheriff.

Sheriff Troy Cunningham stopped by All Saints Central Elementary School on Friday, May 17 to award Dylan Paul with a certificate of recognition.

Cunningham thanked Dylan for using a chest thrust to dislodge a piece of muffin that his teacher was choking on. 

Principal Lisa Rhodus said on Monday morning, May 6, a computer teacher was eating a muffin and could not breathe.

"All of a sudden she starts doing the universal choking sign, which I see. I get out of my chair, take off my phones, and I ask her if she is choking," said Dylan Paul.

That's when Dylan sprang into action and performed a chest thrust on the teacher.

"What I did was I propped right up at the sternum and then I would pull back. And then somebody else, the other kids in my class went to go get teachers to help, but when they got there I already, um, she had already stopped choking," Dylan said.

The student dislodged the piece of muffin and saved the teacher.

"She was grateful that he saved her," Rhodus said. "I'm just so proud to think that he was able to react in the situation that could've been very scary for fifth graders. It's a scary situation and reacted so quickly and we are very proud of him."

Rhodus said the student’s mom is a nurse but the student saw the maneuver on YouTube.

"There's this YouTuber, Jaiden Animations. She made a video where she gave information on how to do the Heimlich maneuver," Dylan said.

Dylan said he is just glad he could do something for someone who has given so much to him.

"I am very thankful for what she has done for me. So I think it kind of made it even," Dylan said.

That teacher, Karen Renko, had the following to say about Dylan. "I am so thankful to have had Dylan in the room at the time. His presence of mind and willingness to step up and help shows that he is wise beyond his years. Dylan is a real live hero."

The sheriff’s office said it was very proud of Dylan for his quick action and remaining calm throughout the situation.

An earlier version of this story referenced the Heimlich maneuver. That reference has been updated to reference a “chest thrust” instead.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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