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Usually cartoons are an innocent diversion for children, but sometimes, religious adoration of an animated yellow sponge can save your friend’s life. 13-year-old Brandon Williams, a seventh grader who lives on Staten Island, is being hailed a hero after performing the Heimlich maneuver to save his friend, who was choking on an apple. Where did he learn how to save a life? By watching SpongeBob Squarepants apparently.
Brandon and his friend Jessica Pellegrino were eating lunch at the cafeteria at Barnes Intermediate School when he noticed the girl choking, immediately wrapped his arms around her from behind, and thrust his fist into her upper abdomen to dislodge the offending fruit, according to Staten Island Live.
The New York teenager lives with autism and, according to his Dad, one of his passions is watching SpongeBob. After the incident, Brandon’s class had a party to celebrate his heroism. Many of his classmates and teachers think that the kid should get a medal, but he has modestly declined one.
Strangely enough, this isn’t the first time SpongeBob has been credited with saving a life: In 2010, a Long Island seventh grader performed the Heimlich maneuver and also said that she learned the lifesaving technique from the SpongeBob episode where the anthropomorphic sponge retrieved a clarinet from his friend Squidward’s windpipe.