5th grader receives medal for saving friend's life

By Patrick Walker | pwalker@kark.com

Published 02/10 2016 09:26PM

Updated 02/10 2016 09:48PM

Two students at Steven Schorr Elementary school were spotlighted Wednesday.

"We have a lot of people here today, and they're here for a very special reason," said Steve Schorr.

They're both in the fifth grade, and one of the students was credited with saving the other's life.

It happened two weeks ago in the cafeteria at Steven Schorr Elementary.  Kyle Sucaldito started choking on his lunch.

"It felt scary, I couldn't breathe, my throat started to get sore a lot," Kyle said.

But immediately, Kyle received help.

Gabriel Wallace didn't hesitate when it came to saving Kyle's life.  Proving heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Schorr: "Gabriel, out of the clear blue sky, came over to Kyle, and what did you do?"
Wallace: "I did the Heimlich maneuver."
Schorr: "He did the Heimlich maneuver."
Gabriel: "I did that and then I realized he spit the food out, and then I realized he was actually choking and then a teacher came and I told her."

On Wednesday, Gabriel received a medal for his bravery and his willingness to jump right into action. 

"Captain Sprague, can you bring your men out here with you," Schorr said?

Gabriel's mother looked on with pride as she watched her son receive the award.

"When they told me, I was completely blown out of the water, said Heather Wallace, Gabriel's mother.  "He went above and beyond for a friend."

What impressed the adults at the school the most, was the fact that Gabriel knew how to use the Heimlich Maneuver.  Everyone's still trying to figure out where he learned it.

Gabriel has an answer.

"I feel like I always really knew it, or I just saw it on TV," Gabriel said.

Where or how Gabriel learned the Heimlich Maneuver doesn't matter to Kyle.  He's just happy he was there to save his life.

"Thank you a lot, for saving my life," Kyle said to his friend.

Gabriel's favorite animal is a shark, so MGM Resorts gave both of the boys VIP passes to see the Shark Reef exhibit at Mandalay Bay.

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