Middle School Student Saves Classmate's Life


RENO, NV -- For most kids, lunchtime is a nice break from class. However, earlier this week at Depoali Middle School, that break was interrupted by a potentially deadly accident. An eighth grade boy is safe at home, thanks to a quick-thinking classmate and a little help from Hollywood.

Zack Jensen and Edwin Mendoza met in P.E. class at the beginning of the year.

They both say they didn't hang out much outside of class, but on Monday, they got much closer.

"I was coming out of a lunch room with a couple of friends and we were coming to get some water right here and I noticed Edwin was holding his neck," said Jensen.

He soon figured out, it was because Mendoza was choking and didn't hesitate to react.

"I ran back inside, but when I ran, I lost my oxygen, so I just walked to the water fountain. I was trying to drink water, but I was losing my vision and I felt like I was going to pass out," said Mendoza.

Jensen did something he had never done before, performing the Heimlich Maneuver on his friend, and a chunk of hamburger flew out.

"I just did what I had to do," said Jensen.

"I was amazed because I was expecting the teachers or someone else to do something," said Mendoza. "I didn't think he'd react that fast either."

However, what may be even more amazing, is where the thirteen-year-old learned this lifesaving technique: the Robin Williams movie, "Mrs. Doubtfire."

Zack also gives credit to his mom, a guidance counselor, who showed him a video about the Heimlich last year.

"I never thought he'd have to use it, but I'm glad that he knew what to do and that he did see it and it was fresh in his mind and reacted the way he needed to react," Stephanie Jensen, Zack's mother, said.

Now, when he walks the halls, Jensen is seen differently.

"It's just one of those moments where I actually got to see something heroic," Joy Williams, Depaoli Middle School assistant principal, said.

But to him, he's still just an eighth grader.

"I think anyone else would have done it."


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