Jason Weigold, 23, of Danielsville, was recognized with a national lifesaving awards for saving or sustaining the life of another person during the Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley's annual meeting and awards program held recently at the Lehigh Country Club, Allentown.
Weigold is a support counselor at LifePath in Whitehall who noticed a client signal she was choking. First administering back blows, then abdominal thrusts, Weigold successfully dislodged the food. Weigold credited his American Red Cross Health and Safety Services training with allowing him to know how to react to the situation.
Also among those honored was Michael Mickey, president and CEO of the Mahoning Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Mickey accepted the Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley's Good Neighbor award. The nursing and rehabilitation center has hosted Red Cross blood drives, and serves as a storage point for Red Cross emergency services equipment and supplies.
Former Bethlehem resident, Winnie Romeril, one of the first American Red Cross volunteers to go to Haiti following the January earthquake, was the keynote speaker. Romeril, a bilingual communicator with the American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, shared a photo presentation of her personal two-week experience in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, just days after the devastating earthquake.
Romeril, along with Joe Lennert, chairman of the board of Trustees of Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley presented PPL Corporation's economic development and community services manager Don Bernhard, of Allentown, with the Circle of Humanitarians Award for the corporation's donation to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Efforts. The Circle of Humanitarians award is designed to recognize corporate partners for annual gifts to the American Red Cross of $50,000 or more.
PPL Corporation was the first corporate partner to receive the recognition. PPL Corporation donated $10,000 to RCGLV as a community partner, $50,000 to the Red Cross Haitian relief effort, and $25,00 to the Chilean earthquake relief effort, along with an employee campaign. Three local individuals and one company's first aid response team received national lifesaving awards for saving or sustaining the life of another person.
Also recognized with a national lifesaving awards were Lisa Politi of Northampton for saving the life of a choking victim. Politi, a special-education teacher at Centennial School of Lehigh University's College of Education noticed a 12-year-old student eating lunch choked on his food and began to turn blue. Using her Red Cross training in first aid was able to use back blows to dislodge the food clear the student's airway, "saving the boy's life," Lennert said.
Majestic Athletic sports apparel's first aid response team was credited with using CPR to sustain the life of a co-worker. Team members Stephanie Hartzell, of Saylorsburg; Fatme Hodzhova, of Wind Gap; Andy Schneck, of Schnecksville; and Tom Shupper, of Rosetta, aided a co-worker who collapsed after complaining of shortness of breath. After establishing that the victim did not have any signs of life, the team initiated CPR and continued until care was transferred to an EMS crew. Although the victim regained a pulse and blood pressure, she later succumbed to an advanced cardiac condition.