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Teen Who Saved Choking Classmate Says ‘Spongebob’ Taught Him Heimlich Maneuver

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A 13-year old autistic teen who performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking classmate says he learned the technique from watching SpongeBob SquarePants.

Brandon Williams said he knew to perform the Heimlich on his choking peer Jessica Pellegrino because he had seen it on his favorite TV show, a cartoon about a talking sponge who lives under the sea, according to Staten Island Live. “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’s dad Anthony told the paper. “That’s how he knew instantly what to do. And we’re glad he did. We’re proud of him.”

When Jessica thanked Brandon for saving her after the incident, he got shy. “I just love her,” he said quietly, the newspaper reports.

[Staten Island Live]

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Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com