'I just reacted,' says Torbay boy who saved classmate's life

It was during a short break in the school day at Holy Trinity Elementary in January when Grade 4 student Jacob Dyke was eating his snack, while his teacher was busy helping a student on one of the classroom's computers. 

That's when an average day at the Torbay, N.L., school turned out to be anything but.

Jacob began to choke and turn purple — but he was fortunate to have a friend looking out for him. 

"It all happened so quickly and stuff. I just reacted," said classmate Parker Upshall, who saw Jacob in trouble and instinctively performed the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Parker knows the technique because he was once on the other side of the experience himself.

Learning experience

He was taught the lifesaving lesson last summer, after he began to choke while eating bacon.

His father, Mike Upshall, performed the Heimlich — and afterwards, Parker wanted to learn.

Craig Scott/Facebook

"He taught me how to do it on myself, and then I asked how do you do it to others, and he taught me," Parker said.


It didn't take long for the story to reach town hall. 

Mayor Craig Scott told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show he heard about the heroic effort through Parker's grandmother and aunt. He then brought it to a town council meeting to acknowledge the young man's effort. 

"I asked staff to come up with something that we could have the kids in and really show our appreciation for what he did," Scott said.

"When you think about it it's really tremendous, the fact that without even thinking he'd just jump up and do that."

Parker was presented with a certificate of bravery during Monday's council meeting.

Jacob said they've both become close friends since the event. 

"After Parker saved me I was really scared, but I was thankful he was there to help."

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