Girl Scout Melina Lakey, 9, from Pendleton, Indiana, was awarded a prestigious Girl Scout award for rescuing her mother from an overturned car this spring.
This April, she was riding home from a movie theater with her parents when their Nissan Rogue hit a drain ditch and rolled over six times, landing on its roof.
Melina’s dad, Jeff Lakey, managed to take off Melina’s seat belt so she could get out of the overturned SUV. Seeing her mom still trapped inside, Melina went back in, wading through debris and lifting up air bags to get her mother out.
“She said, ‘Mommy I’m right here. Come to me,’”Melina’s mother, Ashley McCollum-Lakey, told ABC News.
Once her mother was out of the car, Melina went back in to get her bloody cell phone to call 9-1-1.
Melina’s Brownie troop, South Madison Girl Scout Troop 3597, had recently earned their first-aid badges, and that day they had toured the Alexandria Fire Department where they learned basic safety skills.
“I used what I learned in Girl Scouts. It was scary, but I kept calm and stayed courageous,” Melina said in a news release.
“I could have lost my family, but instead my 8-year-old used everything she’s been taught to become my hero,” McCollum-Lakey, who is Melina’s troop leader, told IndyStar. “She was there when I needed her the most and knew exactly what to do.”
Melina Lakey was riding home from a movie with her parents when their SUV clipped a drainage ditch and rolled… https://t.co/986vLRGXHe
— Wade Heath (@wadewire) September 23, 2017
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, the 45-county council that represents Melina’s troop, awarded her a medal of honor, one of two Lifesaving Awards, on Thursday, Sept. 21, only the second one to be awarded in the last decade, a spokesperson told ABC.
The award recognizes girl scouts who rescue or attempt to rescue a person, showing “heroism or risk of her own life,” the award’s criteria states.
“It felt really good,” Melina, a fourth-grader who has been a Girl Scout for the past five years, told ABC News. “It felt like everybody cared.”
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) September 24, 2017
And the Girl Scouts aren’t the only ones who recognized her life-saving actions.
The Indiana Pacers heard about Melina’s story and promised to honor her at an upcoming game as an Indiana Hero.
“Your heroism and sound judgment have earned you a place in the pantheon of heroes who have come before you, and left an indelible mark on the Girl Scouts,” Girl Scouts USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo wrote in a congratulatory letter to Melina.
Girl Scout Melina Lakey, 9, holds the Girl Scout Medal of Honor she received as her parents, Ashley McCollum-Lakey and Jeff Lakey look on. pic.twitter.com/Zz69U5kF4F
— John Cleary (@johnpcleary) September 21, 2017
“Your extraordinary courage, incredible confidence, and your willingness to take decisive action in the midst of an emergency has not only saved a life, but also serves as a shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere.”