WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4) – A family in Windsor is counting their blessings after a young boy nearly choked to death on a piece of candy.

The boy was alone with his siblings when the incident happened and his 11-year-old brother came to the rescue.

Eric and Gavin Ray don’t sweat the details, but the pair definitely have each other’s backs.

“I first yelled for mom for help,” Eric said.

On a routine visit to a nearby stable earlier this month the boys’ mother, Shaundra Ray, gave each boy a peppermint to feed a horse and briefly left the boys alone.

“Gavin inhaled the mint on accident and started choking,” Eric said.

Seeing his little brother in trouble, Eric took action.

“I clutched my hand over my fist and I pushed down and up underneath his rib cage,” he said.

He’s not sure if he learned it in Boy Scouts or from his mother, but he successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver.

“I had like three tries and the last try the mint came out with the rest of his Wendy’s potato,” Eric said.

“I just heard him scream, ‘Gavin is choking, Mom!’ “ Shaundra said.

Mom arrived in seconds to find Gavin shaken but breathing again, and thankful.

“As I tell him each day, he’s the angel that watched over Gavin,” she said.

Though he doesn’t like to talk about what happened, Gavin is clear about one thing — no more peppermints.

“I’m scared of them,” Gavin said.

As for Eric, he’s eager to add to his collection of Boy Scout merits, although he’s not sure if they have a Heimlich badge, he’s is sure of something.

“I feel glad that I didn’t lose my brother,” Eric said.


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