NY Girl Saves Choking Friend -- Thanks to 'SpongeBob'

LONG BEACH, N.Y. -- A 12-year-old Long Island girl is crediting "SpongeBob SquarePants" for teaching her how to help her choking friend.

Miriam Starobin and her best friend, Allyson Golden, were in music class Tuesday when Allyson began choking on her gum. Allyson turned red and started kicking her legs.

Miriam -- with thoughts of SpongeBob and the gang -- flew into action and performed the Heimlich maneuver, and the gum popped out.

In one episode of the Nickelodeon animated series, SpongeBob retrieves a clarinet lodged in Squidward's throat. In another, Patrick revives Squidward after he swallows a fork.

Miriam says she is also a fan of medical shows like "Grey's Anatomy," but never had any formal training in the technique.

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