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Choking fifth grade student saved by fellow classmates and lunchroom aide

Posted: 10:24 AM, Jan 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-09 16:24:42Z

BERLIN, Wis. — A fifth grader's life is saved by a fellow classmate and lunchroom aide at Clay Lamberton Elementary School in Berlin.

Ben Griffin says he was laughing at a joke his classmate Chad Halbesma made when he started choking on his food.

"I was just coughing so I thought I was like ok then I just have a little, because I did have a cough that day, so I was like ok,” says Ben Griffin. “Then I'm just a little coughing, but then my eyes went black and I was like ok then I'm choking. That's when I tapped, that's when I did this to him.”

He says Chad began doing back blows to get some of the food dislodged before he and his classmate Rowan Hanson ran for help from a lunchroom aide.

"I was running, and I slipped like once or twice,” says Chad Halbesma. “And it kept going through my mind, like I hope he doesn't die or something."

The aide says she performed more back blows between Ben's shoulder blades until the food finally let loose and Ben could breathe. She says she is so proud of the bravery Chad showed trying to save Ben.