On the morning of April 26, Michael and his mother were sitting on their couch chatting before school when she began choking on an oatmeal muffin. While his mother was choking and could not speak, Michael collected himself and called 911, calmly told the dispatcher their address and her cell phone number and stayed on the line to report her symptoms.
“I thought, ‘Don’t panic or mom’s going to get scared.’ I held it together and it worked,” said Michael who is currently a second grader at Henry B. Burkland Elementary School and a member of Middleboro Boy Scouts Troop 64.
Michael’s ability to calmy act on a stressful and scary situation could tell how he was raised as a strong child because he had just lost his father 10 days before the incident. Michael O’Brien Sr., 34 of Easton was killed in a one-vehicle crash in Raynham.
“I said, ‘Please God, don’t let me die in front of this kid.’ He’s already been through so much,” his mother, Marie Hunt of Middleboro, said in an interview.
The crash happened a few houses down from her cousin’s house on Elm Street West where her cousin an out to help and performed CPR on Michael until the paramedics arrived.
Although both adults were no longer together, they were on very good terms. He and his son were very close and often went on Boy Scout outings together.
Michael said he thinks his Boy Scout training helped prepare him to handle the emergency. “It taught me to always be aware of what’s happening around you. If someone’s hurt you stay calm and call 911,” said Michael, who would like to be a veterinarian, mixed martial artist and rapper when he grows up.
“When I dropped him off at school that morning, he was already able to joke about it. He said, ‘Mom, no eating for the rest of the day. No one will be home to save you’,” Marie said.