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Teen recognized for saving classmate's life in lunchroom

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Jun 28th, 2013 @ 6:28pm


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WENDOVER — A high school student is worried she's now famous for eating a taco at lunch. It's not that she started choking, but rather how another student saved her that makes it such a great story.

Jessica Cuevas and Enrique Trujillo both attend Wendover High School in Utah. Last month, the two were at lunch when Cuevas started choking on a taco. It was Trujillo that noticed something was wrong.

"I realized that when she started turning purple," he said. "So then when I saw her choking, that was my first reaction — just to get up and give her the Heimlich (maneuver)."

It worked. Cuevas started breathing again.

"(It was) a relief, a big weight off my shoulders," Trujillo said. "I was like, ‘Ahh.'"

Trujillo is a member of Wendover's Civil Air Patrol, and his unit learned life-saving skills from Wendover's ambulance team just a weeks before this happened. Because of his actions, Trujillo was given a Civil Air Patrol award.

Civil Air Patrol Maj. Alan Rowley said the cadet is a perfect example to young people.

"My goodness! They can all emulate him, and they're going to be better citizens. They're going to be great cadets, but they're going to be better students and better citizens," Rowley said. "We just can't praise (Trujillo) enough for that."

Trujillo said he knows that sometimes kids his age get a bad rap, but not all of them are bad — certainly not him.

"(He) always looks sharp, he's always on time, and he does everything he's supposed to do," Rowley said.

As for Cuevas, she'll always be grateful for Trujillo's quick thinking.

"If he's ever in danger, I'll be there for him," she said.

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