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Boy Scout, 11, saves choking playmate

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo Brayden McAfee
Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo
Brayden McAfee

MARIETTA, Ohio — Quick action by a Boy Scout is being credited with saving the life of a friend Sunday evening.

Brayden McAfee, 11, of Newport joined Boy Scout Troop 501 in February and over the last two months his Scoutmaster and grandfather, Terry McAfee, had been teaching the troop basic First Aid, tourniquet tying and how to use the Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim.

“I knew I might be able to use that training sometime in my life, but I never thought I would need it so soon,” Brayden said.

His mother, Jamie McAfee, said Brayden and three other children were playing outside during a visit with some friends in the Newport area around 6 p.m. Sunday when Brayden suddenly burst into the house, shouting “Steven. Steven!”

“He looked so petrified, I knew something was wrong,” Jamie said.

She said Brayden shared hard candy with the other children. But one of the youngsters, 7-year-old Steven Smith, began running with a jawbreaker in his mouth and had sucked the candy into his windpipe.

“He couldn’t say anything and was gasping for air,” Brayden said. “I was scared out of my mind.”

Remembering his Boy Scout training, Brayden wrapped his arms around Steven’s middle and gave him a couple of gentle squeezes.

“I didn’t want to break his ribs or anything,” Brayden said.

After three unsuccessful tries, he laid Steven on the ground and struck the youngster on the chest.

“Then the jawbreaker popped right out, and he began coughing,” Brayden said. “He was still conscious. If he had been unconscious I would have started CPR.”

He ran back into the house, closely followed by a red-faced Steven, who grabbed a drink of water.

“We asked Steven if he was all right, but he just said he was OK and asked if they could go back outside and play…

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