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Heroes who Showed Heart Honored in Rye Brook

RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- The three people who saved Katarina Weigel's life a year ago couldn't make it to accept a heroism award from the Red Cross Thursday, but because of them Katarina could be there in their place."There are no words to thank them," said Daria Weigel, Katarina's mother.The Red Cross of Westchester County held its tenth annual "A Community of Heroes" breakfast celebration Thursday at the Rye Town Hilton, recognizing eleven people for heroic acts.

Yorktown High School student Katarina Weigel's her heart stopped during volleyball practice last year. Coaches Katy Sherwood and Mike Rescigno and Yorktown Athletic club coach Jeff Wilson responded to Katarina, who was genetically prone to cardiac arrest, and were able to revive her by the time the ambulance arrived.Katarina's story is one of seven told at the ceremony. More were recognized for saving the lives of others and for serving those in need.Ardsley High School student Jamie Stein, 14, collected thousands of books for American soldiers. Sound Shore Medical Center's Chief of Plastic Surgery Dr. Richard Garvey was a first responder after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The recipients were nominated by their communities and voted on by an independent selection panel.

The Weigels plan to host a barbecue to formally honor Katarina's rescuers July 15, the one-year anniversary of her near-death experience.

Daria Weigel used to find Rescigno "unapproachable," a towering man everyone calls "The House" who coaches varsity football. She said that has changed."Whenever we see each other I just tear up and give him a big hug,"  she said.

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