Kids may be overlooked when it comes to being heroes, but an 11-year-old from Providence Middle School is getting plenty of attention after he saved the life of a fellow classmate during lunch.

Wayne Norris was eating lunch on Friday when one of his friends started gasping for air. Norris told WRIC that he didn’t think there was time to process, so he simply reacted. His friend, Chris Stoneman, stopped breathing when a small chunk of pizza lodged in his airway. Within moments his face was red.


“I just kind of wrapped my arms around and pushed and then it came out,” Norris said. Although he’s never been officially trained in the Heimlich Maneuver, Norris said he learned it from TV. Regardless of if it was correct or not, Norris’s actions saved the life of his friend.

Stoneman’s father, Dave Stoneman, was asked about his son’s near death experience. “God sees it all day long and I’m glad for it,” Mr. Stoneman said. “Very proud of him. I can’t thank him enough.”

But unlike many middle schoolers, Norris is avoiding all the attention. He even downplayed the event to his dad. However, after school officials replayed the lunch room security footage, they assured everyone that what Norris did was indeed heroic.


“Why are people calling me a hero,” says Norris. “I was like, I don’t need to be labeled a hero.”

Those humble words, although surprising to us, didn’t shake Norris’s father. Roger Norris understands his humility but also wants him to recognize just how important his actions were. “He definitely needs to cherish this moment for the rest of his life and be proud of what he did because I’m very proud as his dad.”

You’re never too young or too old to be a hero. You just need to have a willing spirit and a hopeful outlook!