Boy, 9, lauded for actions that saved younger brother


HOLLIDAYSBURG — Rebekah Clough was downstairs doing laundry when she heard her 9-year-old son, Matthew English, yelling.

“He said, ‘Mom, hurry up, Gabriel’s turning blue,'” Clough said.

Gabriel Clough is Matthew’s little brother. He wasn’t yet 2 years old at the time.

Gabriel had swallowed a quarter.

“I don’t even know where it was from,” his mother said.


At the same time that Matthew began yelling for his mother, he decided to pick Gabriel up.

Panicked, Matthew likely pulled up hard, and the jerking motion was enough to dislodge the quarter from Gabriel’s throat, their mother said.

The quarter fell into Gabriel’s stomach, but he could again breathe, she said.

Rebekah said she feels Matthew acted instinctively to save her other son.

“I think that he knew there was something definitely wrong,” she said.

And for that act, Matthew was honored Friday in the office of state Rep. Judy Ward, R-Hollidays­burg.

“It’s not very often that I’m in the presence of a hero,” Ward said, addressing Matthew.

“He saw danger and knew exactly what to do, and he did the right thing,” she said.

Ward then handed Matthew a certificate of recognition.

“I want to tell you we really appreciate it,” she said.

Matthew, who will soon begin fourth grade, said he enjoys the attention, but he described his actions as ordinary.

“I just picked him up,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.