When Potomac Elementary second grader Jason Swartz, 8, saw his friend, Bradley Blizzard, choking, he knew just what to do.
“I saw it on a TV show,” Swartz said.
The two boys, who have been friends since they were three, were on their way home from school. The bus had just left Potomac Elementary and Blizzard started sucking on a mint. Just before the bus stopped at the light at Falls Road, he started choking on his candy. “It went down my throat,” Blizzard said.
The bus turned the corner and Swartz called out for the driver, but he could not be heard over the din of children just out of school.
“There were no patrols,” Swartz said.
Blizzard was starting to get scared as a red froth came out of his mouth and tears began to stream down his face.
“There was a big blob of stuff,” Swartz said. “I knew it was true.”
Blizzard was unable to cough, so Swartz turned him around and grabbed around his abdomen, as he had seen on TV’s “Lizzie McGuire.”
As the bus rumbled along, Swartz pushed in. “I was trying to breathe,” Blizzard said.
Then, a cough later, it ended. Blizzard could breathe again.
The boys theorize that the mint had been forced out of Blizzard’s windpipe and turned to an angle which allowed him to swallow it, since the offending candy was not expelled from his body.
Blizzard cleaned up. “He gave me some tissues from his bag,” Blizzard said. The boys got off the bus a few stops later.
They recounted the story to Blizzard’s mother.
“He really did save my son,” said Alice Blizzard. “I think they’re going to be friends for life.”
The boys now seem none the worse for wear, although they don’t plan to eat candy on the bus anymore.