Photo caption: Senator Fuschillo (right) is pictured as he presents the Senate Liberty Medal to 12 year old Victoria Scalli (left center) for heroically saving her father's life by performing the Heimlich maneuver while he was choking. They are joined by (l-r Assemblyman Dave McDonough, Victoria's mother Nancy, her father Mark, and her sister Brittany).
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today presented the New York State Senate Liberty Medal to twelve year old Victoria Scalli of Merrick for her heroically saving her father’s life by administering the Heimlich maneuver while he was choking.
“Victoria Scalli’s quick thinking and heroic actions saved her father’s life. In a situation which would cause many people to panic, Victoria showed tremendous poise, relied on her training, and prevented a tragedy. She is a true hero and it is my pleasure to present her with this well-deserved honor,” said Senator Fuschillo.
Victoria was eating dinner with her family one night in late February when her father, Mark Scalli, began choking on a piece of bread. As he began gasping for air, Victoria’s mother, Nancy, tried to perform the Heimlich maneuver but, having no formal training in the procedure, was unable to remove the bread which was obstructing his windpipe.
Having learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver in her physical education class at Merrick Avenue Middle School, Victoria jumped into action, calmly and correctly performing the maneuver on her father to dislodge the bread from his windpipe and save his life. Senator Fuschillo presented the medal to Victoria at the school, surrounded by her family, principal, teachers, and classmates.
The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is one of the highest civilian honors that a New Yorker can receive. Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the award is given to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.