MASSAPEQUA - A Massapequa Boy Scout is being hailed as a hero after he saved his own mother from choking.
Thomas McNally, 12, was at his home with his two siblings when his mother began to choke on a piece of meat.
"She was just, like, holding her neck. She was purple because she couldn't breathe," Thomas told News 12. "I got up. I started to do the Heimlich. All in my head, I was saying 'don't panic.'"
After four or five attempts, Valerie McNally coughed up the meat and she was saved.
Thomas learned the lifesaving lesson a few weeks prior from the Great Neck Fire Alert Company. The firefighters met with the scouts to teach them the Heimlich maneuver and CPR.
Thomas received a wall full of citations and a chest full of medals from the Boy Scouts, the fire department and the town. Still, Thomas says he is not a hero.
"I don't like being called a hero because heroes are veterans and people in the Army, police officers and firemen. So, I don't think I'm really a hero," Thomas told News 12.
Apparently, the Boy Scouts think he's a hero. The organization awarded the 12-year-old its highest honor, the Medal of Merit, for saving a life. Only 2 percent of Boy Scouts receive it.