MARSHVILLE, N.C. -- A Union County high school student is being hailed a hero after his quick thinking on the school bus. Another student was suffering from a medical emergency and he came to the rescue.
"I heard somebody yell 'oh my god, he's choking,'" said Xavier Huntley, a Forest Hills High School student.
Huntley is a high school senior and Hakiem Thomas is just an eighth grader at East Union Middle School.
Bus 307 was likely the only place their paths would cross.
"I heard him, but I wasn't answering and he flipped me over," Thomas said.
"I just picked him up and moved the other kid out of the way," said Huntley.
Hakiem was having a medical emergency. He couldn't breath and his body started going numb. That was when Xavier's instincts took over.
"It's really simple to do it, but it's simple to have the guts to do it," said Huntley.
"What do you think would have happen if he wasn't there?" asked NBC Charlotte's Xavier Walton.
"I don't know if I'd be here," said Thomas.
That day Xavier Huntley played the role of hero, but he was supposed to be playing something else.
"I still had baseball practice, but I wasn't feeling good and originally my mom was going to pick me up from practice," said Huntley. "Couldn't get in touch with her when it was time to go so I decided to get on the bus."
His decision to miss practice ultimately saved Hakiem Thomas's life.
"I feel like everything lined up like it was supposed to," said Huntley.
For that Hakiem's family is grateful. So much so they paid a visit to Xavier.
"When we got there, my grandma tried to pay him for saving me, but he didn't take it," said Thomas.