ATKINSON — A teen who pulled his friend up from the bottom of a pond after the friend suffered a seizure will be recognized with a New Hampshire Hero Award.
Ethan Gerry, 15, of Atkinson is a busy teen these days. The Timberlane Regional High School freshman harbors dreams of becoming a lawyer, is getting high honors in school, and is on the school’s JV lacrosse team.
“He does very well in school,” said Maureen Gerry, Ethan’s mom.
In his free time, Ethan still plays video games with his longtime buddy Matthew Brooks, of Danville, she said.
Last year, on July 21, during an eighth-grade graduation ceremony, Ethan saved Matthew’s life when the two boys were playing in the water at Little Island Pond in Pelham.
Matthew suffered a seizure and fell under the water. Ethan called out to the adults at the shore for help and dove down to find his friend. After about 10 to 15 seconds, he located Matthew at the bottom of the pond and lifted his head above the water and waited for the parents who were rushing in to help.
While he waited and held up Brooks, Ethan was holding his breath underwater.
Ethan said he recognized the symptoms of his friend’s seizure because they had recently learned about it in school. And, knowing his friend, he didn’t believe he would fake it.
A few days after the Union Leader and other news agencies reported the story, the Pelham Fire Department recognized Ethan’s bravery and fast thinking with a certificate and a “life-saving coin,” according to Maureen Gerry.
Then, on Nov. 30, the Boston Celtics invited Ethan, his family and Matthew to attend the Celtics game and be recognized as part of their “Heroes Among Us” program.
Maureen Gerry said they got to tour the TD Garden court about an hour and a half before the game started.
“We got to sit courtside and watch the players warm up,” she said.
During the game, the story of Ethan saving Matthew was told on the jumbotron and Ethan went out onto the court to receive an award in front of 15,000 people, who gave him a standing ovation.
Ethan is also invited to a banquet hosted by the Celtics for all their Heroes Among Us winners, later this August.
On Wednesday, Ethan will be recognized at the New Hampshire Hero Awards, which are presented by Citizens Bank. The awards are held each spring to honor residents who have risked their lives to save or attempt to save the life of another during the previous year. Gerry said he was grateful for the recognition.
“It’s a memory I will never forget,” Gerry said.
Lately, Ethan has been focused on playing lacrosse. Aside from being on the JV team for Timberlane, he was recently picked to join a traveling team out of Massachusetts, after he tried out for one of only six openings about a month ago.
The 2019 Hero Awards will be held from 3-5 p.m. May 22 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. A member of the State House will be on hand to recognize the award recipients, as well as greet family, friends and colleagues.
The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to email@example.com.