Amityville Girl, 5, Honored for Saving Brother

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From left: State Sen. Owen Johnson, Grace Varley, 5, of Amityville, who won the Liberty Medal for saving her little brother's life, and state Sen. Charles Fuschillo. (Michelle Goldberg)

Grace Varley, a 5-year old Amityville girl who saved her 2-year old brother’s life, was awarded the New York State Senate Liberty Medal in her prekindergarten classroom at St. Martin Tours School on Friday.

Grace was home with her little brother, Myles, while their grandmother was babysitting when Myles started choking on a chicken nugget recently. When the grandmother’s attempts to clear Myles’ throat were unsuccessful and the toddler began to pass out, Grace picked up the phone and called 911.

“I felt sad that he was choking on a chicken nugget…I stayed calm,” said Grace.  “I learned how to dial 911 when there’s an emergency at school.”

Grace proudly showed off her medal and shook the hands of state Sens. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) and Senator Owen Johnson (R-Babylon), who gave her the honors.

The New York Senate Liberty Medal is given to individuals who exhibit exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.

Grace also taught a lesson to her fellow classmates about how to call 911 when in a dangerous or emergency situation. Using a telephone, Grace pointed out which buttons to press to contact the police.

“For her to know what an emergency situation is…is unbelievable,” said Grace’s mother, Alison Varley. She emotionally explained how proud she is of Grace for keeping cool, calm, and collected during a situation in which one could become very frightened.

Her motivation? Well, that part was simple. “I love my brother,” said Grace.