How To Save A Life

May 16, 2008
By Matt Martinez, Albuquerque, NM

It was fourth grade year when it all happened. My best friend Nick and I were on our way to school after playing football in the park. We were late and in a hurry so we started running. I remembered I had two sour jaw breakers in my pocket. I took one out and started to suck on it. Nick asked me if he could have one so I gave it to him and we kept running. We ran along sucking the tasty sourness when all of a sudden Nick bent down to tie his shoe. I waited for him for a second and realized that he was trying to say something to me. At first I thought he was trying to be funny and make some sort of joke, but then I realized that this was no joke.
His face was turning blue and he started to foam and bleed from the mouth. I remembered the jaw breaker and realized that it was stuck in his throat. I yelled as loud as I could for help. I picked Nick up and tried everything I could to dislodge the jaw breaker from his throat. I tried giving him the Heimlich but it didn’t work and he didn’t like when I did it.
In the distance I saw a black truck coming down the road. I ran into the middle of the road and yelled and jumped up and down. I yelled stop!!! When the car came close it stopped and pulled over. It was two men who were working on a house down the street. They jumped out and I told them what had happened. One of them called for help while the other tried to dislodge the sour candy from Nick’s throat. Nick was bluer than ever and he couldn’t talk. The workers told me to go get his mom so I sprinted all the way up two blocks and rang the door bell.
She came to the door and I told her Nick was choking. She started getting frantic and jumped in her excursion and hauled a** down the road. I sprinted the two blocks back and came to the spot in the grass where Nick was lying down. He could barely breathe and I could see his eyes swelled up with tears and I seriously thought that day that my friend was not going to make it. Nick’s mom showed up and started to cry.
Finally help came, but at this point I didn’t even know if he was breathing. He had foam all over his face and blood on his shirt. The lady came out of the ambulance car and propped nick upright. She took his heart beat and it was still beating. Then we heard a sound that today is still in my head. Nick said,” Oh man.” I couldn’t believe he had just said something when we all thought he couldn’t breathe. Then Nick’s mom asked him if he was ok. Nick said,” That hurt really bad. I swallowed it.” We all started laughing and my heart dropped. I fell to my knees and thanked God that Nick was breathing.
The ambulance car still took him and he went to the hospital to see if he had damaged his throat at all. His throat was a little swollen but no harm was really done. We thanked the workers and they left. Nick’s mom went with him to the hospital. Everyone thanked me over and over.
They all left and here I lay in the grass for a couple minutes. I knew I had just saved my best friends life. It was the best feeling anyone could ever have. I just looked up into the sky and felt like a king. I walked my way to school and got a tardy slip. I walked into my fourth grade class and told the whole story. For the next couple weeks I was a hero. All the kids asked me questions about it every single day. Even teachers came up to me and asked me. I told them the story and maybe added a few things to spice it up.
To this day Nick and I still laugh about it. Whenever we get in fights I always use the line,” If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t be here” or whenever I need a favor I always use the famous,” you owe me one.” I’m glad my friend is still alive today, so we can keep on making memories.

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