Red Cross Honors Laurie Levene For Lifesaving Intervention In RPB

Arthur and Laurie Levene smile with Laurie’s award. Photo by Rick Munroe

The Palm Beach & Martin Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross recognized Laurie Levene on July 23 for using Red Cross lifesaving skills to save her friend’s life.

On Jan. 6, Levene and some friends were enjoying dinner at Golden Corral in Royal Palm Beach when her female friend began to choke. While eating, Levene noticed that the woman’s airways were obstructed by food and asked her friend if she was OK.

After the friend was unable to respond verbally, Levene jumped into action and proceeded to perform abdominal thrusts. After several attempts, the food was expelled from her friend’s airways, which allowed her to breathe.

For her heroic and lifesaving action, Levene received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit in a ceremony at the Red Cross Chapter office in West Palm Beach.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course.

“Laurie has been a dedicated Red Cross volunteer for most of her life,” Executive Director Jennifer Durrant said. “She has served as a member of the Palm Beach Disaster Action Team, the Disaster Public Affairs Team, the Volunteer Relations Team and the Emergency Response Vehicle Team. We are grateful for her support and thrilled to recognize her with a lifesaving award.”

Levene is a longtime Red Cross volunteer trained in Red Cross Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. In addition to her many roles at the Red Cross, she leads the Red Cross Disability Integration Team for the South Florida Region. She is known to be a passionate and kind-hearted person who embodies the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross.

Members of the public can go to to nominate and recognize an individual or group of individuals who have used the skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course to help save or sustain a life.