To say the last month has been a whirlwind for Carson Wooters, a 13-year-old from St. Michael, would be an understatement.
During lunch on Monday, Dec. 19, at St. Michael-Albertville , Wooters was enjoying his food when he and a friend cracked a joke. That friend, Nick Putnam, began to choke on a peach he was eating.
"I think we were talking, and one of us said something funny, and then he just got really quiet. I thought, maybe at first he was joking or kidding. He's that kind of kid. But when his face turned red, I got up. I noticed it was getting pretty serious."
Putnam told Minneapolis' WCCO television back in December that he was just hoping someone would come to his aid.
"It was just like, 'Please to God, get it out of here for me!'” Putnam said.
Wooters got behind his friend and performed the Heimlich maneuver, pulling up on Putnam's abdomen and launching the peach free.
"I had a fifth-grade project where we were studing the human body, and we could either learn the Heimlich or CPR. I chose the Heimlich, and I guess it stuck. I didn't really think about it. I just did it," Carson said.
Carson's dad, Troy Wooters, said he wasn't surprised his son remembered, but was really proud that, in a tough moment, his boy didn't panic.
"He was able to think on his feet. He was the one to take action. That's pretty great," Troy said. "Then, I was hoping he didn't break the poor kid's sternum!"
Tuesday night, at the Council meeting, Fire Chief Steve Hosch presented Carson with a commendation for his bravery.
"You took quick action in the case of a medical emergency," Hosch said. "That deserves recognition."
Carson said "it's been good" to be recognized, but he stays humble. Todd said his hockey teammates and classmates are there to make sure Carson doesn't get a big head.
"It's pretty cool to have someone call you their hero," Carson said.
There have been a few media requests and dozens of cards and text messages over the past five weeks. The coolest? A text from his former babysitter and St. Michael-Albertville grad Courtney Barthel, who is a collegiate athlete.
"He was pretty pumped with that one," Todd said. "Just excited that she remembered him."