The New York State Senate Liberty Award, the highest honor that can be given to a civilian by the state senate, recognizes heroic or humanitarian acts or achievements.
Now, three Marcellus children have joined the ranks of Liberty Award recipients. Daniel, Sean and Anna O'Conner were presented the distinction by Sen John DeFrancisco on Saturday Sept. 20 following their quick action earlier this year when their babysitter began having a seizure.
"Wow those are my kids. I couldn't smile enough," said Patrick O'Conner, the children's father. "It's great that they be rewarded, and because they were doing what they should have done. They did great, I'm proud."
Daniel, 5, Sean, 8, and Anna, 10, were being babysat by Peg Gilmour on March 11 when Gilmour had the seizure.
Sean and Daniel, who was 4 at the time of the incident, tried to rouse Gilmour. She was unresponsive, so Sean took his brother and two other children Gilmour was babysitting to another room and calmed them down.
"He told them everything was going to be alright. He kept going back and forth, from Peg to the kids," Patrick said.
In the meantime, Anna went across the street to another neighbor's house to get help. The neighbor came over to Gilmour's house and called 911.
The paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and took Gilmour to the hospital where she recovered. She hasn't had a seizure since.
"These young children took control of the situation and showed remarkable bravery," DeFrancisco said in a press release. "They deserve to be recognized for their lifesaving response. I am very proud to present each of them with a New York State Senate Liberty Award."
Patrick expressed extreme pride and surprise with his children's actions.
"Daniel has always talked about being a firefighter and Anna and Sean know all about stop, drop and roll. But I didn't know they would know what to do if something bad really happened." he said.