Fourth-grade Upsala student saves life of choking classmate by performing Heimlich Maneuver

Fourth-grade Upsala student Tyler Hoehle stands with his Life-Saver Award. Tyler received the award for performing the Heimlich Maneuver on his classmate Dillon last Monday, dislodging the food from his throat. Tyler also holds the orange dragon given to him by Dillon as a thank you gift.

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Tyler Hoehle is a hero at his school in Upsala.

While sitting down for lunch with his class Monday, Oct. 10, to eat cheesy bread sticks, Hoefle noticed something wrong with his classmate Dillon Press, who was sitting across the table.

“He was choking,” Hoehle said. “I could tell because he had pieces of food on his tongue and he was holding his neck.”

Hoehle, who lives in Little Falls with his family, said he saw Press tapping people on the shoulder to get their attention, but Hoehle was already half way around the table to help him.

Remembering back to a lesson his third-grade teacher Marla Swanson had taught about the Heimlich Maneuver, Hoehle did the best he could to dislodge the food. After just a few tries, Press was able to cough up the food.

“I basically just saved his life,” Hoehle said.

Hoehle was careful not to be too forceful when performing the Heimlich Maneuver, he said, as he recalled from class that it can hurt or even kill someone if performed too forcefully.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Hoehle’s mother Jennifer, who  received a message from the school nurse right after the incident. “I didn’t know he even knew how to do that.”

Ten-year-old Hoehle was awarded the Life-Saver Award by the school Tuesday, the day after the incident, and was also given an orange dragon and laser pointer by Press to thank him.

Everyone should know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, Hoehle said, as choking can happen any time.


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