Old Rochester graduate recognized for ‘saving a life’ at prom

Jun 6, 2023

MATTAPOISETT – The graduating class of Old Rochester Regional High School seniors were honored for their hard work, athleticism and artistic ability during a graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 3.

One student, Matt Eby, was recognized by Old Rochester Regional High School Principal Mike Devoll for “[saving] a life at prom.”

Eby was met with rounds of applause from the audience and from fellow graduates after he was recognized by Devoll.

While at senior prom on Tuesday, May 30 Eby noticed a peer who had started choking on a piece of steak from the buffet. Eby and several friends ran over to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

The student who choked did not wish to be named.

“My friends tried to do the Heimlich on him and it wasn’t really working” Eby said, “So I did the Heimlich on him in the bathroom and he coughed up a piece of steak about four inches long.”

After Eby and friends recognized the signs of choking, they didn’t hesitate to intervene, he said.

“My friends and I kind of just knew we had to help him instantly,” he said.

Eby explained that he learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver during his sophomore year at Old Rochester and from his mother, who is a nurse.

This was the first time Eby had ever had to use the Heimlich on a “real person,” he said.

Eby noted that despite the incident, the students had a great time at prom and enjoyed the food, even though the steak was a little tough.