In moments of peril, superheroes don’t hesitate, they leap into action. And so, it seems, do little boys if their baby sister’s life depends on it.
When 8-year-old Jaxson Dempsey realized his 20-month-old sister Lelia was choking on a chicken nugget, he didn’t panic. Instead, he calmly directed his dad to pull over the car they were driving in and proceeded to dislodge the obstruction from Lelia’s airway.
Jaxson said he’d learned the lifesaving technique from watching WWE superstar John Cena perform the maneuver on an episode of the Nickelodeon show The Substitutes.
Jaxson’s father Matt has nothing but gratitude for his son, whose quick thinking staved off a potential tragedy.
“I couldn’t hear her because she was choking. She wasn’t coughing; she wasn’t panicking. She just had no air going through; she wasn’t breathing,” Dempsey told WNEP-News. “Thank God Jaxson was there because, without him, I don’t know if Lelia would be here.”
While kudos were the last thing on Jaxon’s mind for doing what came naturally when his sister needed him, they’ve been rolling in nonetheless ever since.
The first big “Well done!” came from none other than John Cena himself, who sent a personal message via video after learning of the boy’s heroics.
“I heard a story about you, and it really touched my heart,” Cena said. “A story that in a time of crisis, you were brave enough to take action… Usually, when bad things happen, one of the toughest things for all of us to do is to take action. You jumped right in, helped out the best you could. [By] doing so, you saved your sister’s life. I really want to say thank you for being you, Jaxson. Thank you for being an inspiration; thank you from all of us.”
Cena’s tribute was high praise indeed, but the accolades didn’t stop there. On March 31, Jaxson’s hometown of Hazleton, Pennsylvania fêted him with his very own parade featuring more than a dozen fire trucks, sirens blaring and lights blazing, all in honor of a pint-sized hero who turned out to be the best big brother a little sister could have.