An 8-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero after skills helearned from watching John Cena on a Nickelodeon TV show helpedsave his younger sister's life.
Jaxson Dempsey was on his way to a haircut late last month when his20-month-old sister Leila began choking on a chicken nugget from McDonald's,ABC affiliate WNEP reported.
"Itmade me feel scared because I thought she was going to die," Jaxson toldCBS affiliate WYOU. "But then this thing came into mymind. I told my dad to pull over and I started to pat her back."
This"thing" the second-grader had remembered was an episode of theNickelodeon hidden camera prank show The Substitute, in whichcelebrities go undercover in classrooms as substitute teachers.What Jaxson hadin mind was a season one episode featuring John Cena, where Cena teaches aclass of young students the basics of CPR on a dummy named Chuck.
"Everyone at Nickelodeon is so proud of Jaxson and hisheroic actions, and we are honored to be a part of such a remarkable story ofgood news and courage! Yay for Jaxson and Leila!!!" Nickelodeon spokesmanDavid Bittler said in a statement to PEOPLE.With the episode in mind, Jaxsonacted quickly, leaning his sister forward and using the heel of his hand toslap her back between the shoulder blades, ultimately dislodging the stuckchicken nugget in about 30 seconds."Her face was bright purple and red,and she wasn't really breathing. Jaxson sprung into action before I even openedthe door," dad Matt Dempsey told WYOU. "I couldn't believe it. Imean, he's always been a really good big brother, but I never knew he wouldknow what to do with that."The proud dad added that he was grateful forhis son's actions, as Leila had remained unusually calm throughout the ordeal."Icouldn't hear her because… she wasn't coughing, she wasn't panicking," hetold WNEP. "She just had no air going through. She wasn't breathing. Thankgod Jaxson was there because without him, I don't know if Leila would behere."Jaxson, who lives with his family in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, said hefeels "like a hero so much in [his] heart," and that he believes allchildren should learn CPR in case they find themselves in a similar situation."Iwould say thank you [to John Cena] for being on that show," he told WYOU."It taught me a lot about how to save someone's life."
The boy's heroics werecelebrated with a local parade, in which more than a dozen firetrucks came byto flash their lights and blow their sirens in his honor, WNEP reported