Seventh grader Brandon Williams, who is autistic, saved the life of a classmate, Jessica Pellegrino, who was choking in the lunch room of Barnes Intermediate School in Staten Island, New York, on Oct. 28 (video below).
Pellegrino was choking on a piece of apple when Williams performed the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned from an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, reports the Staten Island Advance.
"He picks up on things that most of us would miss, and files it all away in his head, and he can recall it all in an instant," Williams' dad told the newspaper. "That's how he knew instantly what to do. And we're glad he did. We're proud of him."
Brian Griffin, Brandon's paraprofessional at the school, added, "The cafeteria is always very noisy, but I heard the kids calling me. I was ready to jump in, but Brandon had it. He was amazing. I've never seen anything like it."
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Pellegrino and Williams were given a party by their class on Nov. 5.
“He always talks about Jessica, and they always sit together and pal around,” Williams' dad told the New York Post. “He’ll point to her and say, ‘That’s my girl.'"
Outside the party at their school, Pellegrino said, “He saved my life," put her arms around Williams and added, “He is awesome and cute."