Hazleton boy saves baby sister from choking

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WEST HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A second-grader at Heights Terrace Elementary is being hailed a hero Monday night.

Eight-year-old Jaxon Dempsey saved his baby sister’s life, using a skill he learned on TV. Jaxon was recognized by the PTA for his heroic act.

Eyewitness News talked to Jaxon Monday about how he saved his sister and how he knew what to do. Jaxon loves being a big brother to 20-month-old Layla.

“My favorite part is, you get to take care of her and when you’re bigger and she loves you and she gets to talk. You can give her a bottle,” Jaxon said.

Wednesday, he noticed Layla was choking on a chicken nugget while their dad was driving, and sprang into action.

“It made me feel scared because I thought she was going to die, but then this thing came into my mind. I told my dad to pull over then I started to pat her back,” Jaxon said.

He leaned her forward and used the heel of his hand to slap her back between the shoulder blades.

“I noticed her face was bright purple and red and she wasn’t really breathing. Jaxon sprung into action before I even opened the door,” Matt Dempsey, Jaxon and Layla’s father, said.

In about 30 seconds Jaxon was able to dislodge the nugget.

“I couldn’t believe it. I mean he’s always been a really good big brother, but I never knew he would know what to do with that. Most kids might panic and just start yelling,” Matt said.

Jaxon says he learned the move from watching an episode of Nickelodeon’s The Substitute, where WWE superstar John Cena teaches kids how to save someone from choking. He remembered Cena’s lesson in the moment and saved his sister’s life.

“I feel like a hero so much in my heart,” Jaxon said.

Jaxon says he thinks all kids should learn how to respond in an emergency,.

“So if they have a little sister and she’s choking, their parents should teach them how to pat them on the back. And watch the very first episode of The Substitute on Nick,” Jaxon said.

He’s happy his baby sister is okay. And he has a message for Mr. Cena.

“I would say thank you for being on that show and for teaching me how to save someone’s life,” Jaxon said.

Eyewitness News actually reached out to Cena’s team for his reaction. It’s a long shot but we’re hoping to hear back from them soon.

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