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‘Angels watching over us’: Trooper saves 5-year-old choking boy


MARIETTA, Ga. (WFLA/CNN) — A 5-year-old Georgia boy is alive today thanks to heroic actions of an Indiana trooper who rescued him from choking.

Maddox Gates, an exuberant 5-year-old from Cobb County, started choking while returning home from a vacation to Michigan Thursday afternoon.

“Maddox had fallen asleep and then looked back and he had kind of woken up and made a noise, like a choking noise, like he was going to throw up,” Jill Gates said. “I tried to get him to throw up into the bag and he just dropped and kind of threw up all over himself and then I was calling his name and he wasn’t responding to me. His eyes were kind of over to the side and glazed a little bit.”

Gates was unresponsive on the side of the highway.

“To see your child like that and I almost feel helpless to extent and he’s not responding and you don’t know the what the cause is,” Maddox’s father, Brad Gates said.

State Trooper Ben Reasons was heading home from work when he heard the frantic 911 call for help.

“We were in the middle of nowhere, Indiana and it’s like we had these angels watching over us,” Jill Gates said. “He seemed to appear out of nowhere to me the officer was giving him the Heimlich at the time.”

Maddox regained consciousness and after spending several hours in a local hospital, doctors cleared him to go home. Now he’s back in Georgia smiling with his family.

“We can’t thank him enough for stopping and doing what he did,” Jill Gates said.

Maddox’s parents say he may have had a seizure, which caused him to choke.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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