It’s no joke: A 20-month-old girl in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, owes her life to her older brother and a prank video by pro wrestler John Cena.
Last week, little Leila Dempsey started choking on a chicken nugget while she and her older brother Jaxson, 8, were being driven home by their dad, Matt Dempsey.
Dad was behind the wheel, but Jaxson rose to the occasion.
“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,” Jaxson told local CBS affiliate WYOU.
Jaxson leaned his sister forward and slapped her on the back between the shoulder blades with his palm and was able to dislodge the nugget from Layla’s throat within 30 seconds.
The family was happy about Jaxson’s quick actions, but his parents were surprised how their son learned CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.
Turns out, he learned it from Cena, who once demonstrated it on “The Substitute,” a Nickelodeon prank series where celebrities pretend to be substitute teachers.
Jaxson’s mother, Kristen Dempsey, thinks he saw the episode a year ago and took it to heart.
“My son remembered this and did this, and lo and behold, he used it for a good purpose,” she told the Standard-Speaker newspaper.
Jaxson told WYOU that he thinks all kids should learn how to do the Heimlich.
“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,” Jaxson said.
Jaxson’s lifesaving maneuvers were officially honored on Wednesday when more than a dozen fire trucks came to his house to flash their engine lights and blow their sirens.
HuffPost reached out to Cena for comment, but he did not immediately respond. However, a Nickelodeon spokesman told People.com that the network “is so proud of Jaxson and his heroic actions, and we are honored to be a part of such a remarkable story of good news and courage!”