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Without missing a beat


Local Girl Scout to receive Medal of Honor

By Kris Leonhardt


ASHWAUBENON – A Parkview Middle Sixth Grader Ashlee McGee is set to receive the Medal of Honor from the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes for her “quick thinking, decision-making, and heroism” during a medical emergency involving her mother.

“I was helping the girls clean their rooms — her and her sister — and I kind of wasn’t feeling well,” recalled Ashlee’s mother, Danielle McGee.

“So, I came into the living room and sat down. And I kind of sensed that something wasn’t right. I just wasn’t feeling myself, and Ashley was walking through the kitchen. When I tried to call out her sister’s name, it didn’t come out right.

“And I guess at that time, she noticed that my face also didn’t look right — it had like a droop on the one side. So, she ran and got her sister, and her sister is the one who initially called 911. But then, once that operator answered, she kind of had a panic attack. And so Ashley kind of really didn’t miss a beat. She just kind of got on the line with them and did everything they asked her to do. I mean, she didn’t really hesitate.

“Her sister, like I said, her sister was panicking. I was panicking. I knew something was wrong. For a while, she’s on the phone with the dispatcher doing everything she had to do there. She was also trying to keep her sister calm and keep me calm.

“According to her dad and older sister, nothing really hit her until after the fact — like after help was here, and I had gone to the hospital.”

While the Girl Scouts have first aid training, Ashlee said the training just covered basic injuries.

“I don’t think I did anything special; I just did what needed to happen,” Ashlee said about responding to her mother’s stroke-related symptoms.

Learning of the incident, Ashlee’s troop leader nominated her for the Medal of Honor Award.

“In the midst of the emergency, Ashlee exhibited remarkable composure and took charge of the situation. Recognizing her mother’s irregular facial features and impaired speech, she immediately alerted her older sister, and together they contacted emergency services,” a release from the Girl Scout organization announcing the award stated.

“Despite the high-pressure circumstances, Ashlee assumed responsibility for the 911 call. With unwavering calmness, she relayed crucial information to the dispatcher, accurately described her mother’s condition, performed necessary tests as directed and provided vital details to ensure prompt and efficient help arrived. Throughout the ordeal, Ashlee remained attentive to her mother’s well-being, embodying the true spirit of heroism.”

The Medal of Honor will be presented to Ashlee on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Scout leaders say it is a rare occasion when this type of award — which dates back to 1913 — is distributed.

“The handbook titled ‘How Girls Can Help Their Country’ listed two medals that girls could earn for meritorious deeds involving saving lives: the Bronze Cross, presented when a girl had shown special heroism or had faced extraordinary risk of her own life to save another’s life, and the Silver Cross, presented for gallantry with considerable risk to a girl’s life. Even after 110 years, the tradition of recognizing the heroic efforts of Girl Scouts through Lifesaving Awards continues, with the Bronze Cross and the Medal of Honor now serving as the modern-day equivalents,” the release added.

Despite her quick thinking in the health emergency, Ashlee said that she has no plans at this time to enter the health care field.

“I do not like dealing with blood,” she said.

The presentation will be held Sept. 26 at 3:30 p.m. at the Ashwaubenon Village Hall.

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