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12-Year-Old Girl Saves Twin Brother from Choking at School Cafeteria: 'It Was Just Instinct'

12-year-old Amelia Loverme jumped into action when she saw her brother Charlie choking during lunch

CBS News Amelia Loverme saving her brother Charlie from choking
CBS News Amelia Loverme saving her brother Charlie from choking

A 12-year-old girl in Massachusetts came to the rescue of her twin brother after she spotted him choking at the table next to her in their school cafeteria.

Amelia Loverme is now being recognized for her swift action after her brother Charlie choked on a piece of mozzarella cheese at Leicester Middle School last Friday, prompting her to launch into the Heimlich maneuver, per WBZ News.

"It was just instinct, I didn't really know what to do, I just feel like I had to help him," Amelia told the outlet.

The whole ordeal was caught on surveillance video, showing Charlie stand up at his lunch table and hold his chest, before he began to walk around. Some nearby friends remained motionless, possibly unsure of how to help, but his twin sister knew just what to do.

"I'm going to die," Charlie said of his thought process. "It's just scary and you just don't know what's going to happen next and it's just really scary."

"They were all pretty scared and they didn't know what to do," Amelia added to WBZ News of his classmates, some whom even distanced themselves from the scene.

After a few seconds, Amelia shot up out of her seat at the table next to Charlie's, stood directly behind him and gave him the Heimlich.

Jason Loverme, the twins' father, told the outlet that adults should "talk to the kids about life-saving stuff like this."

"Whether you think it registers or not, they may tune it out but clearly something registered and she recalled it when she needed it," he said, later adding, "If you can help somebody and you can react regardless of if you're nervous or not, you should."

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As WBZ reports, Amelia has since earned recognition from the school's committee, with the local police chief and the District Attorney now working together to award her even further.

It's also helped strengthen her bond with Charlie, who shared the following message: "I would just say thank you because I'm still here."

The Red Cross has guidelines for similar situations where a person is choking and cannot cough, speak or breath — including bending the person forward, giving them five back blows, giving them five abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich) and trying CPR if the person remains unconscious and they are still choking.

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Just last year, another student was honored for jumping into action when he noticed a classmate choking on a chicken nugget. Garrett Brown, 8, was given a "hero award" at a special assembly by Lakeview Elementary School in Oklahoma.

At one point, Cashton York, the boy he saved, thanked Garrett in front of the crowd before the two gave each other a hug.

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