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'SpongeBob' taught girl life-saving move

April 23, 2010 at 7:14 PM

LONG BEACH, N.Y., April 23 (UPI) -- A New York state 12-year-old saved the life of a friend using the Heimlich maneuver, which she learned from watching "SpongeBob Square Pants."

Miriam Starobin, 12, said she used the lesson she learned from the popular Nickelodeon cartoon when her friend Allyson Golden, 12, began choking on a piece of gum Tuesday during a music class at Long Beach Middle School, the New York Post reported Friday.

"It was like a flash right in my eyes. I saw in my head Squidward with his clarinet lodged in his throat and then SpongeBob does the Heimlich maneuver and the clarinet comes flying out of his mouth," she said, recounting the plot of the episode that taught her the Heimlich.

"I had no clue what I was doing until it was done," she said.

Teacher Sanford Mauskopf said his view of the incident was blocked by a music stand but he learned of the event when he saw Golden's gum fly through the air.

"Do you realize what you've just done? You've saved Allyson's life. You're a hero," Mauskopf recalled telling the seventh-grader.

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