Benjamin Ford was minding his own business during his school lunch break when he noticed a girl behaving strangely. In particular, she was struggling to breathe and slowly changing color – a disturbing sight that seemed to suggest that she was in real trouble. But Ford didn’t just sit by and watch his fellow student; instead, he leapt into action.
In February 2018 Ford was a fifth grader at Greenwood Elementary in Henrico County, Virginia. And, as far as we know, the youngster had attended school day in and day out that year without any major incidents. However, that month, that all changed.
One afternoon, Ford was enjoying some downtime during his lunch break. However, that’s when something caught his attention across the school cafeteria. And right away, the student knew that his help was needed.
Specifically, Ford had noticed that one of his classmates’ life was in peril. And, while describing what went through his mind when he made this realization, the youngster admitted in a February 2018 interview with WTVR that he had started to panic.
Ford said, in fact, “I wasn’t really calm. My heart was really racing. I just knew I had to help her.” Then, as the schoolboy looked on, the girl’s condition continued to worsen. Before long, she was gasping for air; her face had also begun to change color.
So, with time of the essence, Ford rushed to his classmate’s aid. Indeed, it seemed that one wasted minute could have been the difference between life and death. “I felt like I had to hurry up and get to her,” Ford explained. “I thought, in a couple more seconds, she might not make it.”
And, despite his nerves, it was then that the youngster remembered a documentary he’d watched with his mom some years prior. From the show, he’d picked up a vital first aid tip that would prove invaluable in this moment.
As a result, even though the girl was in dire straits, Ford knew exactly what he needed to do to help. Specifically, he chose one of the popular ways to treat someone who’s choking – through abdominal thrusts, or the Heimlich maneuver.
And by the time Ford had dislodged whatever had been troubling the girl, many people in the cafeteria were watching the drama unfold. Then, once the danger had been averted, they gave Ford a hero’s applause. “I got a lot of claps, and I had a lot of fist bumps,” he revealed to WTVR.
After the incident, Ford also received a big thank you and a hug from the friend he’d saved. However, the youngster remained modest about his feat. Later, he would even tell reporters that he’d do it all again if ever needed.
Then, as news of Ford’s good deed spread, he found himself at the center of attention around his school. And it seemed that many of his classmates were rightly impressed by his quick thinking. “They were really supportive when I walked down the hall,” Ford said.
And his fellow students weren’t the only people proud of Ford. When his parents heard about his actions, for instance, they were over the moon. What’s more, they were glad that their son had remembered something that he’d learned from the documentary.
Recalling the moment her son told her he’d saved someone’s life, Ford’s mom revealed to WTVR, “We figured he was playing a video game, or what have you. But he was like ‘No!’ I was like, ‘Really? Whose life have you saved?’”
Continuing with her recollection, the delighted mom explained that her son’s admission left her floored. She went on, “He told us the story and we were like, real proud of him. You know, we were just shocked and I was like, ‘That’s awesome.’”
Then, eventually, word of Ford’s lifesaving actions got back to WTVR. The station subsequently chose to give the schoolboy some recognition for his quick thinking, covering the story on its website and going on to share it on social media.
And once a video documenting Ford’s good deed emerged on the WTVR Facebook page, it didn’t take long for it to spread. Within a matter of weeks of the clip being posted, in fact, it had clocked up 28,000 views and 1,000 reactions.
Furthermore, Ford’s heartwarming tale attracted dozens of encouraging comments from social media users. “You truly ARE a HERO,” read one such remark. “What a truly articulate, caring, handsome young man you are! You should be so proud!”
Meanwhile, another person commented to say, “Saving a life is one thing no one will ever forget. Not only are you a hero, but the young lady you saved will tell this story until the end of time. God bless you.”
And given Ford’s achievements, his parents thought it was only right for them to reward him. After all, to them, the youngster was their “little hero.” So, the day after the choking incident, they picked him up from school and took him out to celebrate.
Ford’s parents then drove him to a nearby store where he was allowed to pick out a video game. After that, he went to see a fellow superhero in action at a showing of Marvel’s Black Panther film. And while the titular character of that movie also saves lives, Ford had gone one better – by doing it for real.