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Student from Alleghany High School awarded for performing a courageous act of life-saving



Alleghany County – A high school boy in the area is being praised as a hero after his fast thinking saved the life of a classmate.

Ezekiel Downey, a junior at Alleghany High School, doesn’t melt in the face of fear like some people do. He made a quick decision and prevented someone from choking.

Some could refer to it as instinct, while others might name it as fast thinking.

“That he would be willing to do that, and react the way he did, you know, that’s instinct,” said Jacob Wright, Chairman the Alleghany County Public Schools School Board.

Ezekiel Downey, 18, said that he realized he needed to intervene after witnessing one of his classmates choke in the cafeteria.

“I just knew I had to step in,” said Downey. “I ran up to him, I got him out the way, probably gave him about four hits and it all came back up.”

Downey claimed to have experienced choking himself, so he knew what to do.

“When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I was at home and I choked on a gumball… And my dad, he works on the road, you know, that’s something they have to know how to do… And he told me, always go up, and you know it just stuck with me,” said Downey.

At the district’s May school board meeting, Ezekiel received recognition for his valiant efforts to save lives.

“We’re just very proud that a student would be able to do that because a lot of adults would freeze in that situation,” said Wright.

Downey acted morally because he knew he should and because he wants other people to follow suit.

“The main thing, I’m just glad he’s okay,” said Downey.

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