When the right person is in the right place at the right time, it can mean the difference between life and death. For a family that was shopping at Buy Buy Baby in Garden City on September 6, 2018, Katherine Falco, an employee at the popular retailer for infants and children, was the person who made a life-saving difference for an unresponsive infant. At an awards presentation for the “hometown hero” were Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, Senator Elaine Phillips, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Assemblyman Ed Ra, as well as family, proud co-workers and representatives from Buy Buy Baby.
“Today we salute a true ‘hometown hero,’” announced Clavin as he presented the town’s first-ever “hometown hero” award to Falco. “As a result of her quick actions, a beautiful infant is alive today.”
“Kathy is the veritable embodiment of the term ‘angelic,’” said Blakeman. “And, happily, a family that was facing a ‘life or death’ crisis was touched by an angel in the form of Katherine Falco.”
Falco, a retired registered nurse, was working as a part-time sales associate at Buy Buy Baby on Thursday, September 6th, when a customer yelled out, “Is there a doctor, does anyone know CPR?” Immediately, the good Samaritan and hero sprang into action, announcing that she did know CPR as she hurried through the store to the distressed mother of the newborn. As soon as Falco saw the baby, who was not breathing, unresponsive and turning blue, she advised the family to place the baby on the floor and to gently tilt his head back. The retired nurse began “rescue breathing” into the baby’s nose and mouth while also instructing bystanders to call 911. After administering the “rescue breathing,” the infant became responsive and began to cry.
Senator Elaine Phillips also celebrated Falco’s actions, announcing that she has submitted the retired nurse’s name to state officials so that Falco may be presented with the Liberty Medal, one of the highest honors a civilian New Yorker can receive.
“When I think of the type of person for whom the Liberty Medal was created, I think of heroes just like Katherine Falco,” said Phillips. “She is an ordinary neighbor who took extraordinary action in order to save the life of a beautiful infant.”
“I am proud to join with Receiver Don Clavin and Senator Phillips to recognize a wonderful friend and neighbor who also happens to be a genuine life-saver,” said Ra.
Falco was also surrounded by friends, family and co-workers at the ceremony in her honor. Since the incident occurred, co-workers at the retail store where Falco works have been talking about the hero in their midst.
“Kathy Falco is a great employee, always giving her best effort at our store and truly eager to help customers,” stated Jim Mahoney, manager at the Garden City store. “It really makes the entire Buy Buy Baby family very proud to know that one of our co-workers actually saved an infant’s life.”
As she graciously accepted awards, citations and accolades from officials and other attendees, Falco said that she felt blessed to have been able to make a positive difference for a family that was in crisis and a baby who was facing tragedy.
“I am so proud that Kathy Falco is a resident of Hempstead Town,” concluded Clavin. “I can think of no better recipient of the inaugural ‘hometown hero’ award than Katherine Falco.”