Good thing Carter Altruda's parents taught him the Heimlich maneuver. Last week, he saved a life

By Nathania Johnson
March 14, 2014 06:20 AM
Credit: Courtesy Matthew Altruda

Four inspiring stories that got lost in this week’s headlines:

The Fifth-Grade Hero of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Carter Altruda (above) was eating lunch at Ann Arbor’s Eberwhite Elementary School on March 7 when his best friend started choking on an apple. While the fifth-grader had never received formal training on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, his parents taught him the technique years prior, reports The instruction proved life-saving as Carter immediately performed the procedure, and his friend coughed up the piece of apple that had been blocking his airway.

The Heimlich maneuver consists of using abdominal thrusts made by pressing the thumb side of a closed fist into the middle of the choking victim’s abdomen. The action encourages the body to release the food or object blocking the windpipe.

Altruda said he was nervous at the sight of his friend’s face turning purple. Even though there were adults around, he jumped into action and performed the technique himself.

MLive reports that shortly after the heroic act, Altruda’s father took to Facebook to share his pride: “I just got a call from Carter’s school that my boy is a hero. His best friend was choking on an apple at lunch time and Carter gave him the Heimlich maneuver!!! Pretty crazy he didn’t panic and went straight into action. So proud of my boy!

Two Dogs, 2,000 Miles Apart, Each Save Their Owners from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Two dogs, two incredible stories of instinct and survival. In the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods, Hunter the husky-mix puppy saved the McLarty family from a dangerous gas leak, when a kitchen stove burner was left on overnight.

Meanwhile, in northern California, 80-year-old Jack Farrell was alerted to a carbon monoxide leak by his German Shepherd Max, a rescue dog he adopted a year ago. Farrell was asleep, reports KPIX, when a wall heater impairment caused the colorless, odorless gas to leak into his home.

Max pulled Farrell out of his bed and dragged him down a hallway. When Farrell finally woke up, he called 911. Firefighters determined that the gas was already at fatal levels.

The California Sailors Who Volunteered for Read Across America

Half a dozen members of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30 from Naval Base Ventura County volunteered their time as readers on Read Across America Day March 3, reports The Lighthouse.

After reading from The Berenstein Bears Learn to Share to second graders at Dennis McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard, Calif., Lt. Scott Angelo took questions from the kids, such as, “Do you read aloud when you’re in the airplane?” (Answer: “We sure do.”)

The 80-Year-Old New Yorker Who Snowblows His Neighbors’ Driveways (and Mows Their Lawns!)

In upstate New York, reports WHAM, many citizens are lucky to count 80-year-old Clint Stone as their neighbor and friend. That’s because Stone has been taking his snow blower out to clear driveways in his Henrietta neighborhood after snowstorms, like the one that hit this past Wednesday.

He often travels to nearby Irondequoit to do the same for his friends, though the most recent blizzard was so severe it prevented him from traveling. When the weather improves, residents say he trades the snowblower for a lawn mower, pruning his friends’ grass instead.

Like us on Facebook for more stories like this!