CHALMERS, Ind. (WLFI) – The motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be prepared,” and that preparation saved a life in an area high school cafeteria.
Fifteen-year-old Mason Stokes is a Boy Scout.
“Basically, it just helps me out in day-to-day situations,” Mason Stokes said.
He also has autism.
“Being autistic, he lives in a black and white world,” Karl Stokes, Mason’s father said. “He doesn’t really see all the shades of gray.”
“My particular autistic trait is that it allows me to remain cool under intense situations,” Mason added.
“He doesn’t understand most facial expressions or most body language,” Stokes said.
But Mason was able to pick up on his friend’s body language Thursday while eating lunch at Frontier Junior Senior High School. He said he knew something just wasn’t right.
“The more he coughed, the less certain I was that he was ok,” Mason said.
His friend was, in fact, choking on a piece of beef jerky. And that’s when 15-year-old Mason knew he had to stay calm and take control.
“Out of instinct, I just jumped up, and ran over to give the Heimlich maneuver to him,” Mason explained.
Mason learned the Heimlich maneuver through boy scouts.
“Instead of just a squeeze, you need to pull up on the stomach,” Mason explained.
And because of that, he was able to get the piece of beef jerky from his friend’s throat.
“After about 5 minutes or so, I went into the office to see how he was doing, he gave me a thumbs up sign,” Mason said.
And that’s when Mason knew he saved his friend’s life. Mason said he’s glad he was able to save his friend’s life. However, he said he’s a little uncomfortable with all the attention it’s brought him.