Matthew March will soon have a wall full of local and national honors and Boy Scout memorabilia in recognition of the quick-thinking that might have saved his mother from choking after she passed out a year ago in their Rotterdam home.
March, who is now 12 and a member of Troop 105 at the Esperance Elks Club, credits first aid merit badge skills with bringing him a national honor from the Boy Scouts of America this week.
“I kind of went through it on instinct, it came second nature to me,” the seventh-grader said. He was recalling Dec. 13, 2006, when he arrived home to find his mother unconscious on the floor in a pool of her own vomit.
“I think I had an allergic reaction to medication,” Melanie March said.
The medication was to treat a stroke she had suffered, she said. She was home with her 4-year-old son, Jacob, when “I felt bad and tried to get to the bathroom, but I threw up and passed out on the floor for 11⁄2 hours.”
When Matthew came home, he tried to revive his mother “and he took care of everything,” she said.
“I tried waking her up,” Matthew said. “She asked for a moist towel, then she passed out again,” he said.
“I called my grandmother [Dawn March] on her cellphone … and she called the Rotterdam police,” Matthew said. In the meantime, he also e-mailed his father, Kevin March, at his job with Capital District Physicians Health Plan in Albany.
While waiting for the ambulance, Matthew said, he got all his mom’s medications together so the medics would know what prescriptions she had been taking.
After a few hours in an emergency room, everything turned out OK, Melanie March said. She’s feeling better now, although still occasionally feeling some effects from her stroke last year.
“I’ve very proud of him,” March said of her son.
In recognition of Matthew’s quick thinking and action, he received a national Award of Merit from the Boy Scouts of America on Monday, according to Duanesburg resident George Moyer, his grandfather and former Scoutmaster of Troop 105.
The Duanesburg Town Board also honored Matthew this week with a certificate citing his “bravery and courage during a time of need,” according to Deputy Supervisor Tracey Rabideau.
The Rotterdam Town Board also plans to give a similar honor at its Jan. 23 meeting, according to a town spokeswoman.
Combined with an expected plaque from the Esperance Elks and a “Pop Secord First Aid Award” from the regional Otschodela Council of Boy Scouts, Matthew will have to clear space on his shelf of Scout honors, Moyer said.
Only three of the national Boy Scout merit awards have been given in the Otsego, Schoharie and Delaware counties council region during the past 17 years, according to Moyer.
Scouting has been a part of his life as long as he can remember, Matthew said.
“When I was only 3 years old, I had a shirt that said ‘future Boy Scout of Troop 105,’ ” he said.
His grandfather remembers riding Matthew around on his shoulders wearing the T-shirt.
When he was old enough, Matthew joined the Cub Scouts. He was only an 11-year-old Tenderfoot Boy Scout when his mother fell ill.
Now Matthew has made two ranks, up to First Class. He said he plans on going all the way to the top rank of Eagle.
He’s already well on his way with a collection of 15 merit badges in various skills, he said.
Besides Scouts, Matthew said, he likes to keep active with snow and water skiing, wake boarding, and soccer.
Even before he helped his mother out, Matthew said, he was already familiar with hospitals.
“I’m kind of accident prone,” he said, acknowledging that he’s had some broken bones and bruises from his activities.
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Categories: Schenectady County