Michael Noble Jr. Davyon Johnson
It was a typical school day on Dec. 9 when one of Davyon Johnson's classmates opened a water bottle with his mouth. But the cap slipped down the boy's throat, causing him to frantically whisper: "I'm choking, I'm choking."
Davyon, 11, a sixth-grader at The 6th & 7th Grade Academy at Ben Franklin in Muskogee, Oklahoma, knew exactly what to do.
Though Davyon had never attempted the Heimlich maneuver — which he'd learned by watching YouTube videos — he wrapped his arms around the boy's abdomen and squeezed.
"I just hoped I would know how to do it," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "It was very scary."
As EMTs arrived on the scene, Davyon was standing over the boy, "consoling him and assuring him he was OK," recalls principal Latricia Dawkins.
"He's just a very humble and old spirit," she says. "He's responsible, reliable, friendly, just a kind soul."
Hours later, Davyon's quick thinking saved another life.
Around 5 p.m. he was with his mother in their car when she spotted a small fire near a home.
"She thought it was a campfire, but I told her to turn around. She turned around, and there was a fire in the house," Davyon says. "Everybody had ran out except for an elderly lady."
As the woman struggled to move using her walker, Davyon ran across the street, raced up the porch steps and helped her escape the burning building, telling her, "It's going to be okay."
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And what if he wasn't on the scene?
"She could probably have passed away," he says, adding: "It makes me feel incredible that I saved two people's lives in one day."
"He's always been a helpful person, from, I would say, about 3 or 4 years old," says Davyon's mom, LaToya Johnson, a daycare worker. "He's always just been willing to help."
Courtesy LaToya Johnson Davyon Johnson at his father's grave
For Davyon, the rescues came at the end of a difficult year. In August, his dad, Willie James Logan, 52, died from COVID-19.
"One of the staff members that's close to Davyon asked what made him run into the house to save the lady," says Dawkins, "and he said that that was something that he knew that his father would do."
"His father is his hero," Dawkins continues, "and he just could hear his voice."
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Davyon —who enjoys wrestling, football, basketball and playing the video game Fortnite — hopes to someday save more lives by becoming an EMT, a nurse or a doctor.
"I want to be in the medicine field," he says, "period."