Sam Nemeroff is like any eighth grader at Windham Middle School. He likes hanging out with his friends, but one day in mid-March Sam saved the life of his classmate Corbin Judy when Corbin started choking on an orange slice during junior chamber singers.
“Will was talking to Corbin as he was eating an orange,” said Sam. “Corbin laughed at something and it got stuck in his throat. Will said, ‘hey, he’s choking’. Dr. Bob stopped talking and said to go get the nurse.”
“I was right next to him. I wasn’t thinking about that. I thought to get him there or he’s going to die.”
Sam led Corbin to the nurse’s office, but in the hallway, he realized his friend was bright blue. Corbin motioned that he wanted the Heimlich maneuver done on him. Sam administered one thrust and the orange popped out, he said.
It was the first time he’d had to do something like this. Students in health classes are taught how to do the Heimlich maneuver, CPR and other first aid skills, according to health teacher Eliza Adams, who said this wasn’t the first time a child has saved another student at WMS.
To health teacher Mrs. Leroy, Sam said, “Thank you. What you taught me saved Corbin’s life.” Sam also gave credit to his friend Will Irving, who noticed Corbin was choking. “I have to give credit to Will. He noticed. I would not have known he was choking if not for him,” said Sam.
Sam received a letter in the mail from Superintendent Sandy Prince. “…thank you for your recent act of heroism in helping your classmate…You were not only brave, but your quick thinking administering the Heimlich maneuver saved the student’s life.” It was signed, “Your fan.”
Sam’s parents were proud, his dad calling from a business trip to say “Kiddo, I read the letter, that’s amazing.” Sam said that being able to do medical things runs in his family, though none of his immediate family is a doctor.
“I think people are making this a bigger deal. Yes, it’s a big deal, but I did what I had to do,” he said.
Sam thinks engineering or Canadian Intelligence could be in his future plans, but for now he’s keeping his options open.