Hero: North Jersey Girl Scout Saves Mom's Life

A Girl Scout from North Jersey is receiving national recognition for saving the life of her mother and troop leader.

Peggy Madureia with daughter Marley, who saved her life while she was choking on a pill.

Peggy Madureia with daughter Marley, who saved her life while she was choking on a pill.

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey

Marley Madureia, 13, was granted the Medal of Honor -- a lifesaving award by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America -- for springing into action when her mom, Peggy Madureia, began choking at their family's home in Nutley last January.

A pill that Peggy was taking for a sinus infection became lodged in her throat. Unable to breathe or communicate, she began banging the kitchen sink for help.

"Being a Girl Scout, Marley remained calm and immediately began the Heimlich maneuver, a first-aid procedure used to treat upper airway obstructions," the organization said.

Marley’s dad heard the commotion and ran down the stairs -- but by then, Marley's efforts had worked.

The pill became dislodged, and Peggy was able to breathe and speak again.

"I cannot stress enough the importance of learning first aid and lifesaving skills,” said Peggy, who has been her daughter's troop leader since she was in Kindergarten.

"I am so proud of the way Marley handled the situation; she remained calm and acted responsibly. I am thankful that she was able to use the skills she was taught to save my life, and I am forever grateful.”

Marley was presented with her award at the Nutley Town Hall in a small ceremony.

“Marley is a young woman of character and integrity, who lives by the Girl Scout Law and Promise,” said Natasha Hemmings, CEO of GSHNJ, who presented Marley with an award letter and pin from the national organization. 

“She called upon her experience as a Girl Scout to save her mother’s life. It is an inspiring story for all of us.”

“I am so proud of Marley; she is an amazing young lady, who demonstrated great leadership skills,” Nutley Mayor Mauro Tucci said.

"We live in a wonderful town, with great resources and a caring community, and we are happy to be here to honor one of our young heroes."

Marley, meanwhile said only that she was happy she had the skills eh needed to save her mom's life.

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