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One fact that heroes often have in common is that they don’t think they are heroes. They were just doing their job; they were just doing what anybody should have done in their place. That’s how Nathan Dowdy, a 12-year-old at Forest Middle School, sees what he did last week. He may not have risked life and limb, but another boy may be alive today because he acted quickly in an emergency.
Dowdy had been taught the Heimlich Maneuver in health class a few weeks ago and never thought he would actually use it. But he did.
According to Dowdy, the other boy had apparently been chewing on a pen when the spring popped out and went down his throat, blocking his windpipe.
“I didn’t know what happened,” Dowdy said. “Then I saw his face turn blue.”
Dowdy said that the boy fell to the ground, but he picked him up and performed the Heimlich Maneuver. It worked. The spring popped out of the other boy’s mouth.
A teacher, who arrived, congratulated him.
“Then, I walked back to class,” Dowdy said.
His fellow students also congratulated him.
“They told me I’m a hero,” he said. “I feel like I did something any person would do.”
So, what does he want to do with his life?
“I want to play for the Dallas Cowboys as a fullback,” he said, relating his dream.
Maybe he will. Nathan Dowdy is a big fellow, already nearly the size of the average adult man, and he’s still growing. He plays left guard, defensive tackle and fullback for the Road Devils, a recreation football team and currently bench presses about 150 pounds.
“I almost did 180,” he said, mentioning his heaviest attempted weight so far.
Dowdy’s favorite subject is history—the historical period that interests him most is World War II.
Nathan’s parents, Sandra and Whit Dowdy, are proud of their son.
“He doesn’t think that he did very much,” Sandra said. “He thinks that anybody in that situation would do the same thing.”
But they’re glad their son was ready to act.
“He recognized somebody was in need and stepped up to do the right thing,” Sandra said.
This also wasn’t Nathan’s first encounter with the Heimlich Maneuver, according to his Mom.
“He had choked on some pepperoni a year or two ago. I had to do the Heimlich Maneuver on him,” Sandra said.
That feeling of being scared helped him take action with his classmate.
“We’re just glad that he was there and could help,” she said. “We’re very proud of him and glad that he acted so responsibly.”