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This 4th grader saved his friend from choking after performing the Heimlich
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Julian Pedraza, a fourth grader at Martin Elementary who saved his friend from choking by performing the Heimlich maneuver, was honored at a school board meeting on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. (Photo by Jimmy Smith)

You know what they say: Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. 

In comes Julian Pedraza, a fourth grader at Martin Elementary who saved his friend from choking by performing the Heimlich maneuver. 

Julian was recognized for his heroism at the Hall County school board meeting on Monday. 

Superintendent Will Schofield wheeled over to Julian in his chair and they recounted what happened that day. 

“One of his friends starts choking on his lunch,” Schofield said. “He said at first he thought he was just kidding. … But then he started to turn blue, and he realized that he couldn't breathe.”  

“What did you do?" Schofield asked Julian. 

“The Heimlich,” Julian said. 

“I don't know how many of you in the fourth grade knew the Heimlich maneuver,” Schofield said. “But I said, ‘Where did you learn that?’ He said, ‘First Aid at school and with a poster.’” 

“And he knew it exactly,” Schofield said, adding that Julian gave him a forceful demonstration. 

For his act of heroism, Julian was honored with a certificate, and Schofield said the school’s principal is going to throw a pizza party for Julian and his friends. 

“We’re so proud of Julian,” Schofield said. 

“When you're a school district that is striving to be the most caring place on earth, it is always encouraging when we have students that demonstrate behaviors that are in line with that vision,” said district spokesman Stan Lewis. “It lights up our hearts.”