Young hero honored by Freeland American Legion for saving baby sister’s life

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FREELAND, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – In recent weeks we’ve told you about a Luzerne County boy who saved his baby sister’s life.

After being honored previously by his school’s PTA and having a parade thrown for him by first responders and lawmakers, another group stepped up Friday night for a salute of its own.

“The Friends of the American Legion are very proud of you and so is this community,” said Commander Gerald Gaffney of American Legion Post 473.

It’s the latest accolades for eight-year-old Jaxson Dempsey, this time from American Legion Post 473 in Freeland, honoring him for saving his baby sister’s life last month.

“So, we would like to present you with this certificate of heroism,” said Commander Gaffney.

Jaxson used a technique he learned from WWE superstar John Cena on an episode of Nickelodeon’s ‘The Substitute.’ He was able to dislodge the chicken nugget she was choking on in about 30 seconds.

It spared 20-month-old Leila Dempsey’s life.

“My dad told me, Jaxson you’re a hero. And I was like what, no. And then my dad told me, yeah, you are a hero,” said Jaxson.

An organization that knows a thing or two about heroes feels the same way.

“When I seen this, in fact, I got tears in my eyes. I thought, there’s an eight-year-old boy, he knows how to do that, to save his sister’s life. How many people that are much older wouldn’t know what to do,” said Commander Gaffney.

“And Jaxson, we would like to present you with this medal of heroism,” said Commander Gaffney.

Jaxson hopes to inspire other kids and adults to be prepared for emergencies, whenever they may happen.

“They should learn this, because if they have a sister and this happens, they would not be here right now,” said Jaxson.

John Cena sent Jaxson a personalized video message, commending him for his valiant efforts in a time of crisis.

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