Girl hailed a hero after saving brother's life

Lexi Windes receives life-saving award. (Source: MIke Mohundro KFVS)
Lexi Windes receives life-saving award. (Source: MIke Mohundro KFVS)

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Jackson firefighters surprised a girl with a special award for saving her brother's life.

On May 2, Lexi Windes and her brother Nick, of Jackson, Missouri were eating breakfast before going to school when all of a sudden things changed.

Nick was drinking apple juice and eating some powdered doughnuts when he started choking.

Lexi, without hesitation, got up to save her brother's life.

"He was just eating and then he started choking," Lexi recalled. "So then, when I went behind him, I started doing the Heimlich maneuver. That didn't work so I just started tapping on his back and then he was good."

Lexi said it was a relief to know that her brother was okay.

"She stayed extremely calm," Jackson Fire Rescue Captain Robert Greif said. "After she took care of the emergency, she went in there and told her mom, she said, 'Don't worry, I've taken care of it. Everything is fine.' So the 911 process wasn't even alerted because the emergency was taken care of. Everything was 100 percent fine."

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Lexi had trained two years ago. She used that training to save her brother.

"We really drive it and drill it in her head and obviously it worked," Saint Francis Medical Center Community Educator Irene Reynolds said. "She recognized it and was able to act very quickly. I'm very grateful for that."

Reynolds trained Lexi two years ago and wanted to be there to give her a hug when she found out what happened.

"I'm as proud as mom is. I promise you," Reynolds chuckles. "It's just awesome. It's really awesome."

Lexi didn't know she was getting this award. She was with her family outside when the fire trucks came down the street towards her house. She thought they were for her brother Nick.

"He loves fire trucks so I figured it was for him," Lexi said.

She was not only awarded the Life Saving Award but also awarded a challenge coin and an angel pin.

The challenge coin is the first time in Jackson Fire Rescue history that it was given to a civilian.

"Often times people thank us for the jobs that we do but when somebody does something heroic in the community, we often don't hear about it," Greif said. "It's really nice to show our support to them for the great job that they did in the community."

Lexi thanked everyone for coming by and surprising her.

"Having all you guys here and being able to save him was really cool," Lexi said.

Afterward, Lexi, Nick and the other children on hand were able to ride on the fire truck around the block.

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