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E.C. student hailed as a hero for his quick actions

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EAST CHICAGO | Heroes don’t only exist in movies or comic books, and an East Chicago teen proved this Sunday when he saved a woman and her young son after their car crashed into his house.

When East Chicago Central High School football captain and class President Keon Kendall Brown heard an alarming crash just outside his house, the first thing he did was grab his brother and sister and lead them to safety. Keon had volunteered to watch over his siblings, as his mother had been flown to Indianapolis because of complications with a pregnancy.

“My first instinct was to make sure my brother and sister were safe,” Keon said. “When I took them outside, I realized that crash I heard was a car that drove into our home.”

Once Keon took his siblings across the street, he ran back to the car because he noticed a young boy screaming and flailing in the backseat. Keon and his neighbor pulled him to safety.

Keon also heard some rumbling under the deployed airbag in the front seat. Keon realized the sounds were those of a woman, later identified as Dialma Diaz, choking and shaking profusely and apparently suffering from a seizure.

“I kept thinking the car was going to catch fire, so I dragged her out and noticed she was choking on her tongue,” Keon said. “I just reacted and did what I had to do, to give her a chance to live.”

Keon stuck his fingers in her mouth and pulled her tongue out of her throat. Both mother and son were taken to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago.

Diaz’s boyfriend, Alex Gonzalez, credited Keon's quick thinking for "saving my girlfriend's life.”

“I called Keon right away and commended him for what he did,” Gonzalez said. “He’s a hero, and our family is grateful to him for his acts of kindness.”

Both Diaz and her son are now at home and expected to recover.

“This kid is inspiring,” E.C Police Chief Mark Becker said. “I don’t know many adults that could have been that cool under pressure and handled the situation so heroically. This community is a special place that really cares, and Keon is a prime example.”

Keon humbly suggested he doesn’t consider himself a hero but is grateful to have taken emergency medical training classes that helped him during the emergency situation.

“Everything we went over in class seemed to be happening right before my very eyes,” Keon said. “I knew it was a fun class but had no idea I’d be using the techniques so soon in my life.”

The blessings for Keon continued Monday, when his mother gave birth to twins, a boy and girl.


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