BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A Woodrow Wilson student got surprised with a national award for taking quick action and saving one of his friend’s lives.

Late in the 2021-22 school year, a student at Woodrow Wilson Elementary was choking on a piece of pizza during lunch.

David Diaz noticed his friend struggling and without hesitation, began performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Because of Diaz’s quick response, his friend survived.

Diaz says that he was never officially taught the Heimlich, but that he remembered watching something similar on television.

Diaz says, “I knew that if you are choking on something and you push your stomach, you know, if you get kicked in your stomach you like feel like you want to throw up. So, if you push the stomach, if you’re choking on something, it will make the food get out your throat.”

Because of his actions, a representative from Kids Wish Network and the Broome County Sheriff’s Office stopped into his classroom today to surprise Diaz with an award, and a check for $5,000.

He says he can’t wait to finally buy and use an Oculus virtual reality headset.